Charles Leaver – When Tax Season Comes So Do The Hackers So Defend Your Network From Cyber Attacks

By | February 16, 2015

Written By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver

There are lots of business seasons each year and it is necessary that leaders of organizations understand what those periods of time indicate for their for their cyber security defenses. In the retail sector the Christmas shopping season represents a spike in consumer expenditure, but it likewise represents a great time for cyber bad guys to try and take consumer data. When tax season arrives, companies are busy preparing what is required for federal government agencies and accountancy firms and this can be a susceptible period for cyber attacks.

Tax Season Represents An Opportunity For Cyber Criminals

With income tax returns now gone digital there is no need for United States people to mail their income tax returns by the due date as everything can be done utilizing the Internet. This is definitely much faster and more convenient but it can introduce security risks that companies need to understand. When there are significant amounts of data being transferred a golden chance exists for hackers to gain access to info that belongs to the organization.

There have been a variety of cyber security attacks throughout tax season before, and this has actually raised concerns that the hackers will be ready and waiting once again. The recent Anthem breach has actually led industry experts to predict an increase in tax scam hacking in the future. In this breach that impacted 80 million people, there was an enormous amount of personal data such as social security numbers stolen according to Kelly Phillips Erb who is a Forbes contributor.

In Connecticut, locals have been prompted by the Department of Revenue Services to submit their income tax returns early, and act ahead of the cyber crooks so that their data is not discovered and their identity stolen.

Deceitful Activity Detected By Tax Software

To make matters worse, there have been some security interest in one of the country’s most popular tax software application brand names. U.S.A Today revealed that TurboTax officials discovered a boost in cyber criminality related to their product. A number of unauthorized users had actually been using stolen individual data to file fake income tax returns with state governments. The business took the safety measure of briefly stopping all users from filing state taxes until an investigation internally was finished.

This cyber crime was consequently proved to be inapplicable to the TurboTax software, however the incident reveals exactly what a difficulty it is for cyber security professionals to stop incidents of tax scams today. Even if the TurboTax software was flawed, it probably wouldn’t affect companies much, considering that they use accounting companies to manage their income tax returns. Accounting firms likewise need to do exactly what they can to prevent a cyber attack, which is why companies must be proactive and protect their delicate data.

Staying Safe And Secure At The Business Level

When it is time for large organizations to prepare their income tax returns they will use a large number of accountancy workers and the services of external companies in all likelihood to sort out their monetary information. When this is taking place, more attack verticals are open to cyber lawbreakers and they might penetrate a company undetected. If they are able to do this then they will have access to countless files connecting to company documents, financial data and employee records.

If you want to protect your organization in the coming tax season, focus on best practices of cyber security and implement defensive steps that fully cover enterprise environments. Conventional tools like firewalls and anti-viruses programs are a great place to begin, but more sophisticated solutions will be required for those cyber attacks that can take place undetected. Endpoint threat detection and response is vital here, as it makes it possible for company security groups to discover suspicious activity rapidly that might have gone undiscovered. If such an attack was to penetrate the network then this could be the start of a large scale security infiltration.

Cyber security measures are constantly evolving and attempt to keep pace with the methods that hackers employ. Basic network level defenses may catch a lot of cyber attacks however they will not have the ability to prevent all the attacks. This is where high quality endpoint threat detection and response is required. It will provide visibility throughout all the endpoints of an organization, and can precisely distinguish between malicious activity and something spurious. This will enable security groups to better protect the data of the organization.

 

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