Solicitors, Will Writing Professionals and their Clients: Easy Prey and Rich Pickings

A recent webinar hosted by The National Will Register addressed the risks Solicitors and Will writing professionals exposed themselves to when communicating via email with clients.

A key point of relevance in relation to the hot topic of GDPR is that many such communications will contain sensitive information and, in some cases, even includes confidential financial details!

By way of example, email regularly forms part of the communications dealing with a house purchase, personal tax affairs, money transfers and a whole range of other transactions where the content can be used to commit a crime against a client.

Exposing clients to such risk can involve significant sums of money or even contribute to the theft of an individual’s identity, all of which can have a lasting effect on the victim.

We all understand the effects of a house burglary or the inconvenience of a car theft. Victims of such crimes are likely to experience long lasting psychological effects. Online crime is relatively new but continues to increase given the sophisticated way in which such criminals operate. Sadly awareness and action to prevent such attacks has not increased at the same rate. The fact of the matter is that cyber criminals are watching and see accountants, solicitors and their clients, as rich pickings and in a lot of cases easy prey because of the lack of protection deployed!

2017 saw a 20% rise in cyber attacks on law firms and increasingly hackers are targeting solicitors therefore leading to further increases in the amount clients are losing to online fraud. Shocking stories about lay person’s emails being intercepted by hackers have hit the headlines with up to nearly £1 million being stolen in one case.

The SRA receive around 40 reports of confidentiality breaches each month and urge firms to do more to protect themselves and their clients from this increasing threat.

The simple fact of the matter is that preventing cybercrime is far easier to achieve than preventing a car being stolen or a house being burgled.

Paul Holland from Beyond Encryption, who are leaders in ‘Identity Secured Communication®’, launched its world class solution ‘Mailock – Digital Recorded Delivery®’’ in 2018. Holland is a British tech entrepreneur renowned for pioneering solutions to drive the digital world.

Paul comments: “We wanted to provide a secure solution for sectors that needed to protect clients where the consequences of inaction can be immeasurable. The professional services sector has come under significant pressure from their regulators and professional bodies where reputation is built on the professional advice they provide. Losing this to the consequences of cybercrime must be avoided at all costs.”

The ‘Mailock’ system affords its users an unrivalled level of control and audit unique in the marketplace whilst affording protection to the end user through its patent pending technology.

Paul explains: “Mailock is unique and that’s why it has been so well adopted. Our primary goal was to deliver a system that could be installed easily in seconds by the end user, and thereafter protects every email and document a user sends without having to deviate from normal process or remembering to act! Of equal importance was that Mailock integrated seamlessly with a users existing mail account interface so no change was needed, and all this without the excessive costs and implications associated with some solutions.”

An imperative part of the mix is that Mailock allows the user to send electronic documents or emails which can only be opened by the intended recipient, even if the recipient’s computer is open and unattended, it can only be opened by the intended recipient.

Additionally because of the nature of certain professions, audited proof of delivery can be essential in understanding documents have been received, Mailock provides ‘Digital Recorded Delivery®’, providing an audit trail of receipt and opening of a communication.