Focus on Data Security: What to Look for in a Reputable and Safe E-File Provider

Focus on Data Security: What to Look for in a Reputable and Safe E-File Provider

As businesses conduct more activities online, the need for sophisticated data security grows. What about e-filing your 1099s and W-2s? You know the process is convenient and affordable, but how can you be sure it’s safe, too?

Certainly, not all e-file providers are alike — and it’s wise to question their security practices before you partner with them. With a greater understanding of the latest online security measures, however, you can more confidently select a reputable and safe e-file provider.

Security Starts with You

Before selecting an IRS-authorized transmitter, you should take steps to protect your data and strengthen your own internal processes. This includes:

  • Taking inventory of where you store sensitive data. Whenever possible, maintain high-risk data on the fewest number of computers or servers, along with separating it from the rest of your business data. You can also encrypt personal data and save it on a portable USB when not in use.
  • Making sure you have a strong firewall. A fully protected network begins with a properly configured firewall, which acts as a first line of defense with internet traffic coming in and out of your business.
  • Keeping reliable anti-virus and anti-malware programs up to date. Using these programs is smart but unless you’re staying on top of the latest versions or updates, you could open the door to newly emerging threats.
  • Reinforcing your password policy. Set complex and obscure passwords when using software and even your own devices. Strong passwords should be at least eight characters and consist of a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Passwords should not contain any part of your user ID.
  • Providing access to trusted individuals only. Don’t share access to your records with others unless they absolutely need it.
  • Being careful of phishing emails. Be cautious of links in emails and going to websites you don’t know. Visit websites directly from your browser. Only enter personal data on websites that you trust and that are security enabled (hint: look for the lock icon in the URL).  

Essential Criteria with a Quality E-file Provider

Working with only the most reputable, security-driven online providers is essential. By choosing efile4Biz.com for your 1099 and W-2 filings, you can be confident your data is safeguarded by the latest, most sophisticated security measures.

Our commitment to data protection includes:

1) Industry expertise
Businesses are as good as the people running them. As a leading IRS-authorized transmitter, we employ only the most qualified and experienced individuals. Collectively, our staff holds numerous certifications that set us apart in the industry, including Certified Expert Penetration Tester (CEPT), GIAC Web Application Penetration Tester (GWAPT), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

2) State-of-the-art data encryption technology
We use the best-in-class encryption service recommended by the IRS. Your data is converted to unreadable code that meets the highest privacy standards. Furthermore, your data remains secure and locked down via multiple firewalls and access controls.

3) High-security facilities
For any forms that need to be mailed, your data is automatically transmitted to our high-security print-and-mail facility. Primary and alternative data centers are designed to withstand an F-4 weather event, largely through building-within-a-building construction. Plus, the power grids are different for each data center as an added precaution. Multiple physical security measures — such as restricted key card badge entry, door sensors tied to a monitoring system and 24/7 security camera surveillance —prevent intrusion or unauthorized access.

4) SOC 2, Type II certification
Through an independent, third-party auditing process, we are certified compliant with the stringent Service Organization Control (SOC) data management protocols of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Periodic SOC audits ensure ongoing vigilance with these ever-changing protocols.

5) Penetration Testing and Security Scanning
To ensure timely identification and mitigation of evolving security threats and associated vulnerabilities, we perform annual penetration tests and Payment Card Industry (PCI) audits. We also conduct weekly PCI vulnerability scans with aggressive mitigation schedules as needed.

6) Additional protections
For ultimate data security, we don’t store your credit card information, nor do we make it accessible on the site for future orders. We conduct nightly backups to disk at an offsite, company-owned location, and test our data restoration systems on a regular basis.

Choose efile4Biz.com for Industry-Leading Tax-Filing Security
At efile4Biz.com, we take necessary precautions to protect your data. As an industry leader and pioneer, we’ve made online processing of 1099s and W-2s convenient, affordable and, as outlined in this article, secure.

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