cloud computing concept -min

As Federal agencies continue to amass vast amounts of data, it’s inevitable that some portion of it won’t hold a ton of value to an agency’s mission. It could be a simple email to schedule your next meeting, or it could be notes scribbled on a Word document and stashed on an agency server. Outside of its immediate use at that point in time, there’s not a strong need to store it in perpetuity. […]

Equifax Breach Cyber

A new GAO report details how Equifax submitted to audits from agencies with which the company had contracts, but declined an offer of help from the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the company’s 2017 data breach that exposed sensitive personal information of 143 million Americans.






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The General Accountability Office said in a report issued today that the Internal Revenue Service made some progress during FY 2017 in addressing information security control issues previously flagged by GAO, but it also said a more recent audit by the watchdog agency covering FY 2017 turned up newly identified control deficiencies – leaving IRS with a total of 154 improvement recommendations at the end FY 2017.






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In 2016, criminals stole $1.6 billion from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by using false identities to claim fraudulent tax refunds, according to IRS estimates. In a report released today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) zeroes in on IRS’ authentication efforts as a way to reduce fraud and save tax payer dollars, and offers 11 recommendations for IRS consideration.






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The Government Accountability Office on Thursday released the findings of a review of the Internal Revenue Service’s major IT investments, citing well-known shortcomings in the tax collection agency’s aging technology infrastructure and recommending steps to make better use of the billions IRS spends on IT each year.






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On Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) online filing and payment portals went down for several hours. Tax Day, the biggest day of the year for IRS, and systems gave only cryptic messages with erroneous dates for “planned maintenance.” No doubt this wasn’t in the plan.






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The Government Accountability Office on Oct. 16  denied a bid protest filed by Equifax with the IRS. The bid protest is a result of Equifax losing a taxpayer identification and verification services contract with the IRS to rival consumer credit reporting agency Experian. With the denial, the IRS can now begin work with Experian on a one-year contract worth up to $795,000.






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If Federal agencies invest upfront in technologies to track fraud and improper payments, the government could end up saving enough money to pay back some of the national debt or stave off sequestration, according to Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.






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Commercial data services can help the efficiency of program integrity activities for certain government agencies. The Government Accountability Office stated in a June 30 report that agencies can focus their efforts on other tasks if they allow commercial data service providers to offer Web and phone-based services to authenticate taxpayers’ identities.






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Internal Revenue Service cybersecurity is woefully inadequate, and Congress is to blame, according to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. “Congress has sat back and watched while criminals have come in and preyed on taxpayers,” Wyden said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing.






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Despite information security progress, the IRS still has deficiencies in controls over taxpayer data, according to a GAO study that found insufficient controls in identity authentication, server access, encryption of authentication data, auditing systems to ensure compliance with agency policies, and access to restricted areas.






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It’s tax season, and the IRS is warning of scams. The IRS alerted human resource and payroll specialists of a phishing scam called “spoofing,” where a cybercriminal will send an email in the name of a company “CEO” or executive asking personal information, including a PIN or Social Security number, from an employee.






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