Death, Taxes and Cybersecurity

Caroline McDonald


September 12, 2013


In addition to being responsible for accurate tax preparation, tax professionals also are accountable for the private information provided by clients, such as social security numbers and bank account information. Surprisingly, however, many tax professionals indicate they are not well prepared for data theft, identity theft and computer viruses. According to a study of more than 600 members of the National Association of Tax Professionals by Travelers, less than half said they were “very familiar” with the risks of cyberincidents. What’s more, only 15% said their organization was insured for cyberliability, while 55% said their organizations were not insured, and 30% were not sure. Asked if their organization has a written business continuity or disaster recovery plan in place to identify and mitigate potential threats, only 33% said yes, while 52% said no and 15% were not sure. “Tax professionals need to prepare to withstand an unexpected event given the sensitive data they work with on a daily basis,” said Marc Schmittlein, Travelers executive vice president and head of its small business unit. “It is increasingly important to have a written business continuity plan in place to identify and mitigate potential threats to a business.”

Related Articles

Hacker to the Rescue

September 1, 2013

The Digital Threat

October 1, 2011