Category Archives: Information Security

Stopping Thieves from Stealing Tax Refunds

Want your refund right away? Well, fraudsters do too! For Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, today’s WatchBlog focuses on why identity theft refund fraud is a problem and what the IRS is doing to stop this fraud and help its … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Smartphone Apps and Stalking

These days, wherever people go, their smartphones follow—often collecting location data along the way. You may choose to download an app to your phone to share this information. For example, an app can show your friend how far away you … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Federal Cybersecurity Challenges

These days, when you turn on the news you almost always see another hack, leak, or breach putting sensitive information at risk. But we’ve been focusing on keeping federal agency information systems secure for a long time. For October’s Cybersecurity … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Eyes in the Sky | Could We Be Headed for Less Accurate Weather Forecasts?

Satellites are critical for timely forecasts and warnings of extreme weather events. But, as we’ve discussed before, some of these satellites are aging and should be replaced. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oversees key weather satellites, and today we’re … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Stubborn Problem of Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud (podcast)

The Internal Revenue Service estimates that it paid out more than $3 billion in identity theft tax refund fraud in 2014—i.e., fraudsters using stolen identities to file taxes in someone else’s name, collecting tax refunds, and then disappearing. Jay McTigue, … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Smartphone Tracking Apps (podcast)

Smartphones have apps that can help parents keep track of their kids or businesses keep tabs on deliveries. But some of these tracking apps could also be used to facilitate stalking. Listen to Mark Goldstein, a director in our Physical … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , ,

Weaknesses in IRS Information Security (podcast)

To do its job, the IRS has to collect and keep a variety of sensitive information about taxpayers. But how does it make sure this information is secure? Listen to Greg Wilshusen, a director in our Information Technology team, discuss … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , ,

The National Cybersecurity Protection System (podcast)

With cyberattacks on the rise, protecting federal government computer systems, the infrastructure they control, and the private data stored within them is of the utmost importance. The National Cybersecurity Protection System is intended to help—but how well is it working? … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Getting Closure on Our Recommendations

Last year, we blogged about why agencies implement GAO’s recommendations. Looking at our annual Performance and Accountability Report, you can see that we’ve averaged 1,800 recommendations a year with an average 80% implementation rate between fiscal years 2010-2015. This adds … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cyber Risks and Critical Infrastructure (podcast)

Critical infrastructures—the facilities and systems that support banking, commerce, energy, and agriculture—are vital to our national economy, security, and public health. They’re also vulnerable to cyberattacks, a growing concern in an increasingly connected world. Listen to Greg Wilshusen, a director … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment