WASHINGTON D.C. – The authentication processes used in the US IRS’s online services needs an overhaul in order to improve security and prevent fraud.
In a press release issued on December 22nd the US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) called on the Internal Revenue Serve (IRS) to improve the authentication procedures for its online services, in order to prevent the continuing data hacks and leaks which allow criminals to access taxpayer data.
According to the TIGTA, taxpayers in the USA are increasingly reliant on and demanding of online services allowing them to interact with the IRS when completing their tax obligations or seeking information on their tax affairs.
However, despite the increasing demand for such services across all tax procedures, the IRS has yet to adopt a uniform authentication procedure to verify whether the person requesting the access and information is indeed authorized to do so.
Further, it was noted that in many cases the authentication procedures to not match the security standard recommended for such high-risk data, with many instances of single factor authentication, instead of the more secure multi-factor authentication.
The relative ease of the security procedures, and the increasing instance of data leaks from private businesses and government departments now mean that there is a growing possibility that a taxpayer’s data may be used for tax fraud.
In order to address the situation the IRS needs to not only unify its security protocols , but also bring these security standard up to government recommends levels.
Photo By: Ivan David Gomez Arce