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Agents urged to check PI cover amid rise in cyberattacks

The Guild of Property Professionals is urging estate agents across the UK to be on high alert as cyberattacks targeting the property sector continue to surge. 

It comes as legal infrastructure provider CTS fell victim to a cyberattack last week that has brought thousands of property transactions to a standstill.

Paul Offley, compliance officer of The Guild of Property Professionals, said cyberattacks and claims are on the rise and estate agents need to be prepared.


He said the rise in remote working has acted as a catalyst for increased vulnerability, particularly for smaller businesses in the sector, adding: “Many agents may believe that their professional indemnity insurance would protect them against cyberattack, however, over the past 18 months there has been a lot of reform in the sector with PI insurers deciding to no longer cover cyberattacks, so agents now require separate cover and protection.”

Offley warns that “simple mistakes” such as selecting the incorrect recipient when sending an email or sharing passwords improperly, can lead to significant security breaches.

He stresses the necessity of implementing stringent password policies and ensuring that departing employees have their access promptly revoked.

Offley said: “Unfortunately, the reality is that no one is immune to potential cyberattacks, but having preventative measures in place with offer protection.  In the event of an incident, having adequate protection is crucial.”

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) has also urged members to keep all parties in a transaction informed about any issues.

It said: "As well as keeping their own clients informed of any disruption to their matter in relation to such incidents, we expect any directly affected CLC-regulated practices to ensure that they have alerted lawyers acting on the other side of any relevant transactions. This openness is vital for limiting as far as possible disruption and consumer harm."


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