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Firms need a focused approach to preventing cyber crime, says Conveyancing Association

Conveyancing firms, and all businesses, need to engender a cyber-security and cyber-resilience ‘culture’ in order to tackle the growing number of attacks and threats from cyber fraudsters.

That was the key message delivered by Richard Bach, Assistant Director, Cyber Security – Digital Economy Unit at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, at the most recent Conveyancing Association (CA) Management Committee Meeting (MCM) and All Member Meeting (AMM).

The CA holds regular meetings for its members with key-note speakers and at March’s event, Richard delivered his highlighting the threats faced by conveyancing firms and suggested management should not simply see cyber-security as an “IT Department problem” but one to be tackled, and engaged with, at all levels.

Richard also highlighted the sheer scale of the cyber threat firms now face and urged all attendees to “manage [their] risks” and “reduce the attack surface” of their systems in order to protect themselves against the actual and reputational harm that can be suffered.

The Association is currently working on drafting its Cyber Security Protocol for members to provide support, guidance and practical help on what they can put in place to mitigate the risk. This will be a best practice guide to share with staff in order to help reduce the threat of attacks and the chances of intercepted emails on their business and client money. The Protocol is expected to be launched next month.

Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of the Conveyancing Association, commented:

“If ever there was a CA meeting which highlighted the real risk to our members, and indeed, all businesses from the cyber-fraudsters then it was this one. We were incredibly lucky to have Richard attend and he gave us a fascinating insight into the wider cyber-crime picture, the work that is going on at Government level and the efforts all firms need to make when it comes to protecting both themselves and their clients. I’m sure it was a real eye-opener for all attendees and should certainly have sent them back to their firms with a renewed focus on how they can make their businesses much more cyber-crime averse. To this end, we will be issuing our Protocol next month, which is another benefit of CA membership, and will offer a best practice guide in this area.”

Covering a wide-range of issues, attendees to both the MCM and AMM meetings were also treated to presentations by CA Affiliate Members, Future Climate Info and Groundsure , which highlighted the range of environmental search options available and the growing flood risk that should be highlighted to purchasers.

Attendees also received feedback on the growth of the Association, the increase in the number of member benefits currently being offered, plus a comprehensive brief on the CA’s campaign work covering its leasehold campaign, its engagement with estate agents, lenders, and mortgage brokers, as well as a variety of other work projects currently taking place.

After the AMM, all attendees were invited to join the CA team aboard the London Eye followed by dinner.

The next meeting of the MCM and AMM will coincide with the CA’s AGM which will take place on the afternoon of Thursday 28th April at Altitude at the Millbank Tower in London. It will be a full agenda including an update on all CA work streams plus presentations from a number of affiliate members. All delegates will be able to stay afterwards at the venue for networking and socialising with a complimentary dinner.

Goldsmith added:

“Our MCM and AMM meetings have certainly gone up a level this year as we seek to add more content for attendees and to provide our Affiliate members with a platform to get in front of our members. Our latest meeting provided a run-down of the progress we are making across a growing number of fronts, plus we had the wonderful opportunity to socialise after with a trip on the London Eye, followed by dinner. We believe the social aspect of CA membership is incredibly important and each MCM, AMM and our forthcoming AGM will also offer attendees a chance to network and get to know each other.”

Dan Montagnani, Managing Director of Groundsure, commented:

“It is absolutely imperative for all businesses to adopt a cyber-resilience culture, especially conveyancing firms who are dealing with confidential client information on a daily basis. As a digital intelligence business Groundsure fully understands the necessity for cyber security and applies stringent protocols to ensure information and transactions are secure at all times. It’s great to see this issue high on the agenda across the industry as it is a very real threat. Groundsure presented to the CA about flooding and contaminated land risks in property transactions and welcomed the opportunity to flag these to the members.”

Geoff Offen, Managing Director of Future Climate Info, said:

“We’re all under pressure to digest more information more thoroughly and in less time these days, so we’re finding that Affiliate Membership of the Conveyancing Association is a great forum to let attendees know about the advancements we’ve made in this area with our environmental searches, and also to make sure that our products are working and evolving in the best possible way for customers.”

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