IRS Data Breach Affirms the Need for Multifactor Authentication

Recent reports of a massive data breach at the IRS once again affirm the need for better authentication solutions to protect citizen information from criminals and fraudsters. The IRS acknowledged Tuesday that the records of over 100,000 taxpayers were breached using knowledge-based authentication processes known as KBA.

"Using Social Security numbers, birth dates, street addresses and other personal information obtained elsewhere, the criminals completed a multistep authentication process and requested the tax returns and other filings," the IRS said. Data from those forms were used to file fraudulent returns, and the agency sent nearly $50 million in refunds before it detected the plot.

It's time to modernize the Social Security card so that it can be used as part of a multifactor authentication solution to protect all Americans and their personal information. Using the Social Security card as a required to token to access an individual's tax account will go a long way to eliminating online hacking of sensitive accounts. If the taxpayers are required to have the card to log-into their account, or verify their eligibility to work, criminals will be deterred from hacking with user generated content to access high risk government to citizen transactions. We urge all Americans to contact their elected representative and tell them to protect their personal information by upgrading the Social Security card.

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