CA launches revised version of Cyberfraud and Fraud Protocol

The Conveyancing Association (CA) has launched a revised fifth version of its Cyberfraud and Fraud Protocol.

The trade body for the conveyancing industry said its Protocol provides firms with practical information on how criminals operate, and the measures that they and their staff can take to avoid being victims of fraud and cybercrime.

Since the original Protocol was launched in 2016, the CA has regularly reviewed and updated the document to keep pace with the growing number of threats to conveyancing firms and their clients. The CA said that firms who adopt and adhere to the Protocol, along with other safeguards, have been certified as ‘Cyber Safe’ and also commit to ensuring they are up to date with each new iteration.

The latest version of the Protocol includes feedback from several stakeholders and organisations, specifically the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The CA confirmed that updates to this version of the Protocol cover use of cheques, payments made without knowledge, checking callers’ identity, cyber security at the office and at home, as well as the use of public wi-fi.

CA director of delivery, Beth Rudolf, commented: “The threat of fraud never goes away, certainly not for conveyancing firms and their clients who will continue to be targeted because of the considerable sums of money that flow through the housing market.

“What has been self-evident in this iteration of the Protocol is the need for firms to protect themselves not just in a ‘normal’ office environment, but when they have large numbers of staff working from or remotely.

“COVID-19 and lockdown has necessitated this and firms clearly need to ensure their employees are following the same robust anti-fraud measures when not working in the office. This updated Protocol points out a number of areas to cover here, and measures which should be put in place to ensure fraudsters do not have another route into firms’ systems.

“As always we are urging all CA member firms to review this version of the Protocol, and perhaps to use it as a starting point for a review of current best practice and to ensure they are doing everything they can to keep both themselves and their clients safe from fraudsters.”

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