Wednesday, October 14, 2009

IRS Personal Identity Security Issues

The Internal Revenue Service says that efforts to help protect taxpayers from identity fraud, spearheaded by the agency's Online Fraud Detection and Prevention Office, are paying off. The agency points to more than 3,000 suspected phishing and fraud-related Web sites being shuttered since the office opened in 2007. However, Government Computer News reports that the IRS also struggles with internal data security, and that hundreds of taxpayers were affected by 149 breaches last year. A Government Accountability Office report said the "IRS has information security weaknesses that increase the likelihood of IRS employees committing identify theft," which the IRS attributes to weakness in authorization and authentication.Full Story

Every federal agency is struggling with these issues. This is yet another reminder that information security is a paramount problem. Personal information is fast becoming the most valuable asset within any enterprise. Not just company secrets but personal information on employees and customers. Our information is in many places where we have no control over its' security. Even the agencies and enterprises have no absolute control as you see here. At last count in 2008 approximately 62% of all breaches were the result of employees taking the data out of the office for the purpose of selling it or using it themselves for financial gain.

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