rblog

Making it easier to do business

By George Hawkins on 2 November 2015

Thank you to all of you who joined us at the COLP COFA conference earlier this month. It was great to meet so many of you in person and we hope you enjoyed the day. For those of you who weren't there, we ran sessions on reforming our regulation, managing the client account, supporting small firms and many more. We also conducted our "A Question of Trust" exercise with delegates, giving those present the chance to give their view on the professional standards we expect from solicitors – and what we should do when those standards are not met. I co-presented the cybercrime and money laundering session and spoke to more than 400 people across the four presentations. Some of the messages were pretty hard hitting and it made me think about the importance of balance when thinking about risk. Cybercrime – a risk – is a by-product of improved technology – an opportunity.

Control risks, don’t let them control you

News of the recent cyber attacks on large companies shows nobody is immune from cybercrime and other information security breaches. However, what I hope came across in our presentation at the conference was that although these risks are very real, there are also very simple steps you can take to manage them. It’s a bit like locking your front door, closing your windows and setting the alarm before you leave the house. You do it because you can’t accept the risk of burglary. But by leaving the house at all you are accepting some risk. You’ve just decided to control it to a level you feel is proportionate and balanced.

Some of the measures you can take to control cybercrime include choosing strong passwords, keeping software up to date and checking whether the person you are corresponding with is genuine.

The risk of cybercrime shouldn’t stop you from making the most of everything technology has to offer, and doing what you do best – providing good services to your clients. 

Conference presentations online now, and new risk content coming soon 

By the time the conference finished, I’d engaged with hundreds of people, and it was great to hear that so many of you use the Risk Outlook as a way of managing risk in your business. Later this month, we’ll be providing updates to our priority risks online tool and this will be accompanied by a paper specifically for small firms. Much like this month’s blog, it focuses on balancing risks and opportunities. It will summarise our regulatory reforms and discuss how small firms can benefit from them. It will also provide tailored information about risk management in small firms. We’ll let you know as soon as we publish it. If you are interested in learning more about any of our presentations then please have a look at the slides, available now online.

George Hawkins is a Senior Technical Advisor at the Solicitors Regulation Authority.