Law firms – Why you shouldn’t let your unused domain names expire

Securing law firm domain names is critical. Criminals are targeting UK law firms because of the data they hold and the sheer volume of high-value transactions that go through them every month. In April 2019 there were over 70,000* property transactions in the UK, with the average UK house price for the same month coming in at just short of £229,000*, that’s potentially £16 billion being transacted through UK law firms in just one month.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have some great advice on cyber security, all the things you’d expect to be the best defences against many cyber attacks:

  • Keep systems updated
  • Use antivirus software on all devices
  • Backup important information frequently and securely, and learn how to restore the system from a backup
  • Encrypt mobile devices and install a system to track and delete the data if devices are lost
  • Make sure all staff know how to create secure passwords
  • Avoid using administrator accounts (those with the privilege to access other users’ accounts and install software) for regular work that does not involve maintaining the IT system
  • Make sure all staff know how to recognise the signs of email modification fraud and common phishing scams
  • Plan how to respond to an attack or other incident.

Most firms have that in place (if you don’t please do contact me), but cybercriminals will look for any way to infiltrate or impersonate your company. The SRA also recommend that firms should not let any unused internet domain names expire, for example when firms merge, close or change brand. A criminal who falsely re-registers the old name can potentially get access to email histories, including client confidential material, bank correspondence and the information needed to reset passwords. It also makes it easier to hold themselves out as a solicitor.

Keep control – prevent fraud

Keeping control of obsolete domain names is an inexpensive way to prevent this fraud, at claireLOGIC we also recommend you keep control of the most popular permutations, .com etc.

So how good are your IT infrastructure, security and policies? Do you have the knowledge to ask the right questions of your IT service provider? As an award-winning IT Managed Service Provider, who supports and protects many professional services organisations across the Thames Valley, we regularly carry out Strategic Reviews for law firms, this is a completely independent assessment of your IT. The report is then presented to your partners so all stakeholders in the business can truly understand where you are.

Want to know more? Call us on 01865 989144