Data Breaches on the Rise During the 2019 Tax Season

Data Breaches on the Rise During the 2019 Tax Season

Experts are warning that phishing attacks will be on the rise this tax season as electronic documentation is more commonly used when it comes to sending and receiving confidential information.  

Cybercriminals are looking for two factors when they attack:

  • They want a gullible victim who will fall for a scam email.
  • They want either an immediate payoff or a quick way to gain access to data that will turn into money quickly.

Phishing scams related to taxes not being filed, unexpected refunds, changes to banking details, or huge tax bills are enough to get unsuspecting users to click on malicious links or attachments. Opening these types of emails on a company’s network opens the door for cybercriminals gain further access to endpoints, servers, applications, and data within the corporate network.

During the 2018 tax season, there was a substantial rise in phishing attacks where emails camouflaged as tax-related alerts were sent to trick users into giving up their passwords.

Below are four procedures to help protect your business:

  • Use Two-Factor Authentication – this step makes it very difficult for attackers to leverage stolen credentials.
  • Educate Employees – Organizations engaging in Security Awareness Training create a security culture where employees become security-minded when interacting with the web and email.
  • Put Checks and Balances in Place – Specifically around any request to change banking details or to issue checks/wire transfers/etc. Via email, organizations should have policies in place requiring a phone call before processing the request.
  • Have a Response Plan – Knowing what you’ll do should the organization experience a data breach or ransomware attack will help to lessen the damage done.
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Call us today to schedule your next security assessment to help you be able to put in place procedures to better protect your business this tax season.