Tax professionals data security was the main topic at the Tax Security Summit 101. As cyber criminals continue to increasingly pursue tax professionals data, the Internal Revenue Service and the Security Summit partners released lessons learned by the tax community to help others avoid being targeted by identity thieves. In recent years, hundreds of tax professionals experienced data thefts or breaches that exposed their clients personal information to cyber criminals and to tax related identity theft. Tax professionals data security is becoming a larger concern in the tax community.
Today, several of those tax professionals offer their suggestions to their colleagues, actions they wish they ad taken to safeguard their customers and their businesses. The tips range from taking out cyber insurance to using stronger private networks. These suggestions–pulled from victimized professionals, offer a opportunity for the tax community to learn from these common mistake and avoid a devastating data loss for their clients and businesses.
Lesson one, get cyber insurance coverage. A common refrain from tax professionals who have been victimized is that they were glad they had insurance coverage for data loss. Many tax professionals maintain business policies that may cover property and liability, but it may not fully cover data thefts. Tax professionals victimized by these crimes recommend they also explore cyber coverage for data breaches. This may require an addendum or rider to the policy.
Tax professionals data security can also be enhanced by password protecting each client account. Many tax software products now come with a feature which allows you to password protect each clients individual or business account information.
Tax professionals who have been victimized also wish they had used a virtual private network instead of a remote access software. A VPN allows for teleworkers or branch offices to securely connect to the computer system. This makes tax professionals data security much safer.
Last but not least, make sure you keep all security software up to date. It is crucial to do this and keep it up to date. This is the last step towards tax professionals data security.