Written By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver
There are numerous business seasons each year and it is important that leaders of organizations comprehend exactly what those periods of time imply for their for their cyber security defenses. In the retail sector the Christmas shopping season represents a spike in customer expenditure, but it also represents a great time for cyber bad guys to attempt and steal customer data. When tax season shows up, organizations are hectic preparing everything for federal government agencies and accountancy firms and this can be a vulnerable time for cyber attacks.
Tax Season Represents A Chance For Cyber Crooks
With income tax returns now gone digital there is no requirement for US people to mail their tax returns by the due date as all can be done utilizing the Web. This is definitely quicker and more convenient however it can introduce security threats that organizations need to be aware of. When there are large quantities of data being transferred a golden opportunity exists for hackers to gain access to information that is owned by the company.
There have actually been a number of cyber security attacks during tax season in the past, and this has actually raised issues that the hackers will be ready and waiting again. The recent Anthem breach has led market specialists to predict a boost in tax fraud hacking in the future. In this breach that impacted 80 million people, there was a huge quantity of personal data such as social security numbers stolen according to Kelly Phillips Erb who is a Forbes contributor.
In Connecticut, residents have been urged by the Department of Revenue Services to submit their income tax returns early, and act ahead of the cyber criminals so that their data is not discovered and their identity stolen.
Fraudulent Activity Spotted By Tax Software
To make matters worse, there have been some security concerns with one of the country’s most popular tax software application brands. USA Today exposed that TurboTax representatives found a boost in cyber criminality related to their product. A number of unauthorized users had actually been using taken personal data to file phony tax returns with state governments. The company took the precaution of briefly stopping all users from submitting state taxes till an investigation internally was completed.
This cyber crime was consequently proved to be unconnected to the TurboTax software application, however the event shows what a challenge it is for cyber security experts to stop incidents of tax scams today. Even if the TurboTax software application was flawed, it most likely wouldn’t affect companies much, since they utilize accounting companies to handle their income tax returns. Accounting companies also have to do what they can to prevent a cyber attack, which is why companies should be proactive and secure their sensitive data.
Staying Safe At The Business Level
When it is time for big organizations to prepare their tax returns they will use a great deal of accountancy personnel and the services of external companies in all likelihood to collate their financial info. When this is occurring, more attack verticals are open to cyber wrongdoers and they might penetrate a company undiscovered. If they have the ability to do this then they will have access to numerous files connecting to business documents, financial data and employee records.
If you wish to protect your company in the coming tax season, concentrate on best practices of cyber security and implement defensive measures that totally cover business environments. Conventional tools like firewalls and antivirus programs are a good place to begin, however more advanced options will be required for those cyber attacks that can occur unnoticed. Endpoint threat detection and response is vital here, as it enables organization security teams to find suspicious activity rapidly that could have gone undiscovered. If such an attack was to infiltrate the network then this might be the start of a large scale security breach.
Cyber security steps are constantly evolving and aim to keep pace with the strategies that hackers utilize. Standard network level defenses might catch a great deal of cyber attacks but they will not be able to prevent all of the attacks. This is where high quality endpoint threat detection and response is required. It will supply visibility across all the endpoints of an organization, and can properly discern between destructive activity and something spurious. This will enable security groups to better protect the data of the company.