VDA Labs’ founder Dr. Jared DeMott was asked to comment on a recent news story regarding tax fraud. This was done in response to a report issued that discussing how tax returns and other related documents have been seeing an uptick in availability on the Dark Web. Watch the video at WWMT’s website.
With tax information ranging in price from $1 to over $50, criminals are able to use this info to target high net worth individuals and potentially lead to months of cleanup work to get things sorted out again.
As an individual, there are several things you can do to help protect against identity theft:
- Protect your sensitive documents once you have them
- Use a password manager and strong passwords for online sites – especially financial institutions
- Enable multi-factor authentication for accounts
- Consider placing a credit freeze or lock on your name with the major credit bureaus
- Consider reducing attack surface where possible – try to use only trusted WIFI networks, consider a VPN as an additional layer of protection
However, as stated in the news piece, if you are a business that handles sensitive information (and most do, including employee W2 tax forms) – cyber insurance is not enough, you need to think harder about your approach to protecting your data. Steps that might be appropriate include:
- Conducting a yearly penetration test of your network to find weaknesses that attackers could exploit
- Educating your users about the risks of phishing emails, and developing internal controls to protect against those risks
- Adding technical capability to detect and respond to incidents – or partner with a firm to help you in this area
- Ensuring that sensitive data is encrypted and not readily available in email
Contact VDA Labs if your business needs support in these areas!