Cybercrime has plagued the financial services industry – and specifically, tax payers – for years. But thanks to continued efforts by cybersecurity leaders and tax professionals, it has been getting better.
In fact, over the course of three years from 2015 to 2018, identity theft reported among tax payers dropped an astounding 71 percent and confirmed identity theft returns stopped by the IRS dropped 54 percent.
But this is no time to rest on your laurels.
Regardless of how effective recent cybersecurity efforts have been, members of the IRS, state tax agencies and other tax professionals are continuing to encourage everyone to work even harder to prevent further damage. To help, they’ve developed a vital resource – the “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist.
In this article, we’ll answer the following questions about the “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist:
This checklist — developed in partnership between the IRS, states and private tax sector community, known as the Security Summit – details clearly defined steps that tax professionals can follow to mitigate known cybercrime threats.
“The IRS, the states and the private-sector tax industry have taken major steps to protect taxpayers and their data,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a press release. “But a major risk remains, regardless of whether you are the sole tax practitioner in your office or part of a multi-partner accounting firm. To help with this, we assembled a security checklist to assist the tax community. We hope tax professionals will use our checklist as a starting point to do everything necessary to protect their client’s data.”
The “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist is broken into 5 main steps:
When it comes to protecting against the ongoing, evolving cybersecurity threats in play today, managing cybersecurity is, understandably, a tall order.
In order for you to implement the whole of this checklist and effectively fill the role of an IT company, you would need…
Managing your cybersecurity means you need to take a holistic approach, incorporating and considering every aspect of a truly secure environment.
However, that may be beyond the scope of many business leaders…
Publication 5293, Data Security Resource Guide for Tax Professionals provides a compilation of data theft information available on IRS.gov.
“The Data Security Resource Guide for Tax Professionals is intended to provide a basic understanding of minimal steps to protect client data. All tax professionals are encouraged to work with cybersecurity professionals to ensure secure systems. Protecting taxpayer data from theft and disclosure is your responsibility.”
That’s understandable. You may not have the time or resources on staff to handle each and every step in an effective manner. The good news is, you don’t have to handle it on your own.
It’s recommended that you instead outsource their cybersecurity management tasks to a more capable, more available IT company like Kraft Technology Group. Doing so will also guarantee a level of quality and consistency in management and maintenance of your cybersecurity technologies and best practices that can’t be achieved by you or someone on your staff trying to manage it all on their own.
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