Public and private sectors—no entity is immune to cyber attacks. Recently, the government has been a target for these attacks, including the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) departments. In both situations personally identifying data was compromised from data sources that appeared safe.
According to news reports, the IRS was hacked, compromising the tax returns of 100,000 Americans. The personally identifying information on a tax return makes the act quite complex. Citizens include social security numbers, family information, business details and more on these documents. As a result, this puts children and adults at risk for identity fraud. Unfortunately, this information does not have the quick fix of a credit card that can be canceled and issued a new one.
According to the OPM department website, a breach of more than 4 million federal employees was found in April 2015. The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation are launching investigations. The 4 million federal employees that were potentially affected will be provided with credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.
When government entities are compromised, it can be alarming. Especially, when there are allegations that the attacks may be from countries not just organizations. Companies need to reflect on where he or she does business, what type of data they store and how this information can benefit a fraudster.
Data is valuable and the ability to safeguard it is crucial to a company of any size and type. Smaller businesses have the advantage of being able to implement procedures without lengthy approval processes, where larger corporations may find similar difficulties that the government faces. Processing time needs improvement in a world that any business is at risk.
E-commerce to services—it crucial for companies to assure that software and verification solutions are up to date. Additionally, a business needs to implement multi-layered authentication and verification to protect against fraudsters. More specifically, it is essential to provide security questions with answers that are not accessible while viewing someone’s social media profile.