The Internal Revenue Service has declared to tax professionals that they must take extra steps toward protecting the information of taxpayers. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firms, whether they are large organizations or small businesses, hold much information that could be used by hackers and identity thieves, which makes them major targets during tax season.
As dictated by their chosen field, CPAs have to collect and store a significant amount of sensitive information–data which could be of great value to hackers. Data like client information, credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers is collected even by smaller tax offices, which makes them equally as enticing to steal from as a national firm with clients all over the country.
It’s shockingly easy for a hacker or identity thief to steal your clients’ sensitive information. Granted, how easy it is varies depending on your business’ security solutions. It could be as easy as a hacker parking their car on the side of the road just outside your firm and connecting to an unsecured wireless network. Therefore, you need to take considerable measures to protect your business’ data, while paying particularly close attention to any sensitive data that you may have stored on your infrastructure.
There are other methods that hackers will use to target not just one single business, but countless other professionals. They could send out a mass email as part of a phishing scheme in an attempt to steal information from unwary users. These emails can look like a legitimate message but could also include an attachment designed to spread malware, or worse. It can even install backdoors on your network that allow for access at the hacker’s leisure.
If your business works with sensitive data, the time is now to take steps to protect it from all manners of threats. The IRS suggests encrypting any and all sensitive data on your network, as well as implementing additional security features that shore up weaknesses in your infrastructure’s security. You can also start by educating your employees on how to identify phishing scams and other similar threats. Catalyst Technology Group can audit your network so that you can identify where your weak points lie. To get started, give us a call at (317) 705-0333.
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