Chuck Leaver – Tax Season Is A Prime Time For Cyber Attacks

Written By Ziften CEO Chuck Leaver


There are numerous business seasons each year and it is important that leaders of companies understand what those periods of time mean for their for their cyber security defenses. In the retail sector the Christmas shopping season represents a spike in consumer spending, but it likewise represents a great time for cyber wrongdoers to try and take customer data. When tax season arrives, companies are busy preparing what is required for federal government agencies and accountancy companies 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 need for United States residents to mail their income tax returns by the due date as everything can be done utilizing the Internet. This is certainly quicker and easier but it can present security threats that companies should be aware of. When there are significant quantities of data being transferred a golden opportunity exists for hackers to gain access to info that is owned by the company.

There have been a number of cyber security attacks throughout tax season in the past, and this has actually raised issues that the hackers will be ready and waiting once again. The recent Anthem breach has led industry experts to anticipate a boost in tax scam hacking in the future. In this breach that impacted 80 million people, there was a massive amount of individual data such as social security numbers taken according to Kelly Phillips Erb who is a Forbes contributor.

In Connecticut, citizens have actually been urged by the Department of Revenue Services to file their tax returns early, and act ahead of the cyber criminals so that their data is not discovered and their identity taken.

Deceptive Activity Found By Tax Software

To make matters worse, there have been some security interest in one of the country’s most popular tax software brand names. U.S.A Today exposed that TurboTax officials discovered a boost in cyber criminality related to their product. A variety of unapproved users had been utilizing taken personal data to file phony income tax returns with state governments. The business took the precaution of temporarily stopping all users from filing state taxes up until an investigation internally was completed.

This cyber crime was consequently shown to be inapplicable to the TurboTax software application, however the event reveals exactly what a difficulty it is for cyber security specialists to stop incidents of tax fraud today. Even if the TurboTax software application was flawed, it probably wouldn’t affect organizations much, given that they use accounting companies to manage their income tax returns. Accounting companies likewise need to do exactly what they can to prevent a cyber attack, which is why organizations should be proactive and secure their sensitive data.

Staying Safe At The Enterprise Level

When it is time for large organizations to prepare their income tax returns they will use a large number of accountancy personnel and the services of external businesses in all likelihood to sort out their financial information. When this is taking place, more attack verticals are open to cyber crooks and they could infiltrate a company unnoticed. If they are able to do this then they will have access to numerous files connecting to business files, monetary data and worker records.

If you wish to secure your company in the coming tax season, focus on best practices of cyber security and implement protective procedures that fully cover enterprise environments. Conventional tools like firewall programs and antivirus programs are an excellent place to start, but more advanced options will be required for those cyber attacks that can occur undetected. Endpoint threat detection and response is important here, as it makes it possible for company security teams to discover suspicious activity quickly that could have gone undiscovered. If such an attack was to infiltrate the network then this could be the start of a large scale security infiltration.

Cyber security procedures are continually progressing and attempt to keep pace with the strategies that hackers use. Standard network level defenses may catch a great deal of cyber attacks however they will not have the ability to avoid all of the attacks. This is where high quality endpoint threat detection and response is required. It will provide visibility across all the endpoints of an organization, and can properly distinguish between destructive activity and something spurious. This will allow security groups to better protect the data of the company.


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