As part of the IRS’s continuing fight against identity theft and other cybersecurity issues, the IRS recently announced a 10-week education series of news releases called “Don’t Take the Bait.” This education series is aimed at tax professionals who have recently become a bigger target for cybercriminals. The “Don’t Take the Bait” campaign will focus on specific topics such as phishing emails, business identity theft, ransomware attacks, business email compromises, and Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) thefts. It will also provide recommended tips by the IRS, the FBI, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), which sets cybersecurity frameworks followed by government agencies.
The 10-week campaign began July 11, 2017. Each news release is posted on the IRS’s website at www.irs.gov/uac/security-summit.
As of the date of this newsletter, the IRS posted the following releases/notices on its website:
- IR-2017-117- Security Summit Launches Education Campaign Aimed at Tax Pros.
- IR-2017-119- Don’t Take the Bait, Step 1: Avoid Spear Phishing Emails
- IR-2017-120- Don’t Take the Bait, Step 2: Be Alert to Account Takeover Tactics
- IR-2017-123- Don’t Take the Bait, Step 3: Security Summit Safeguards Help Protect Individuals; Renew Focus on Curbing Data Breaches and Business Identity Theft
The IRS stated that from January through May of 2017 there were 177 tax professionals or firms that reported data thefts involving client information. “We continue to see new and evolving threats involving data breaches, intrusions and various takeovers that put people’s personal information at risk,” said John Koskinen, IRS Commissioner.
We at Citrin Cooperman, take the utmost care and precaution to protect and maintain client information. Citrin Cooperman firmly believes that information security is integral to the operation of its business. Because much of our business centers on confidential and proprietary information, Citrin Cooperman is committed to protecting its confidential and proprietary information in a manner that complies with all applicable regulations and that reflects appropriate business practices. This commitment extends to the protection of client information with which we have been entrusted. As such, advanced endpoint threat detection, targeted threat protection, disk encryption, intrusion prevention, firewalls, and web gateways are just some of the technologies we use to help protect client information. We will continue to monitor the remaining news releases and any new developments regarding this initiative.
If you have any questions regarding this education series, please do not hesitate to contact your Citrin Cooperman professional or a member of Citrin Cooperman’s IRS Representation & Tax Controversies Practice Team.