3 Areas COTS Vendors Can Help the IRS Improve Its Cyber Posture

Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

As you’ve3 Areas COTS Vendors Can Help the IRS Improve Their Cyber Posture probably heard, a recent cyber-attack on the IRS compromised personal information of more than 100,000 taxpayers via the Get Transcript app on irs.gov. What you may not have heard is according to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, a whopping 2.7 million taxpayers had their identities stolen last year. Combine that with low funding levels and it’s the perfect storm. The IRS can’t keep up with the rapidly-evolving hacker landscape and as a result, has a pressing need for data protection, fraud detection, and vulnerability testing – and very little money to pay it.

The good news (relatively speaking) is challenges like these are the breeding grounds for COTS opportunities. If you provide capabilities in these three areas, you should be targeting the IRS now, working your solutions into FY16 discussions:

  1. Legacy Infrastructure Consolidation
    This may seem illogical, but it actually makes perfect sense. Aside from having their funding levels consistently reduced by Congress, one of the major obstacles to IT innovation at IRS is the amount of money they spend on maintaining old systems. If you can help them reduce Steady State expenses in one area, they can reallocate that money to meet more pressing needs.
  2. Business Intelligence and Collaboration
    Although the Return Review Program is on indefinite hold, fraud detection needs are just as prevalent as ever. The current strategy is to foster better data sharing and analysis between the IRS and organizations that provide tax filing software to cut down on fraud – so if you work in information sharing between public and private entities, you will have a part to play.
  3. Data Protection
    Finally, IRS’s security posture is outdated and needs to be brought up to speed. Be sure to talk to IRS customers about cost-effective security, since again, their budgets are limited. However, with some members of the Senate threatening to withhold even more funding until the causes of the latest breach are identified and remedied, expect rapid cybersecurity implementation to be a real priority here.

Obviously, the categories I just listed are not the complete picture of IRS IT requirements and the agency can be a tough nut to crack. If you need help identifying top decision-makers and opportunities within the IRS and other government agencies, contact immixGroup’s industry-leading Market Intelligence team today to learn about specific offices and contacts that have a pressing need for your solution.

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