The IRS and Summit Partners have released a Taxes Security Together checklist for tax professionals.
For more information, visit the IRS’s website at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-security-2-0-a-taxes-security-together-checklist
Here’s the summary.
The “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist highlights key security features:
Deploy the “Security Six” measures
Activate anti-virus software.
Use a firewall.
Opt for 2-factor authentication when it is offered.
Use backup software/services.
Use drive encryption.
Create and secure Virtual Private Networks.
CyberWyoming just finished a Working Webinar series on Operating System Security Features, hosted by Jesse Larson at Team Networks.
We cover all of this in Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses! Join today!
Create a Data Security Plan
Federal law requires all “professional tax preparers” to create and maintain an information security plan for client data.
The security plan requirement is flexible enough to fit any size of tax preparation firm, from small to large.
Tax professionals are asked to focus on key risk areas such as employee management and training; information systems; and detecting and managing system failures.
Educate yourself and be alert to key email scams
Learn about spear phishing emails
Beware of ransomware
Check out CyberWyoming’s Phishing Training game at the Wyoming Women’s Business Center website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXTB1IPcutY
Recognize the signs of client data theft
Clients receive IRS letters about suspicious tax returns in their name.
More tax returns filed with a practitioner’s Electronic Filing Identification Number than submitted.
Clients receive tax transcripts they did not request.
Create a data theft recovery plan including
Contact the local IRS Stakeholder Liaison immediately.
Assist the IRS in protecting clients’ accounts.
Contract with a cybersecurity expert to help prevent and stop thefts.