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The Indiana Department of Revenue Taking Cybersecurity to the Next Level

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Blog topics:  Archive

Bob GrennesBy Bob Grennes

It's April and the individual income tax season is in full swing. As you would guess, it's one of the busiest times of the year for the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR). During this season, DOR processes approximately 3.5 million tax returns and issues around 2.2 million refunds equaling more than $800 million. You've probably never thought about the volume that comes through DOR's processing systems, and while 3.5 million returns is no small feat, it's just the tip of the iceberg.

Indiana's tax world touches millions of individuals, businesses, corporations and organizations processing over $20 billion and administering 65 tax types. This makes cyber and data security along with ID protection and refund fraud prevention paramount to everything we do.

DOR's cybersecurity team was launched in 2013 and is led by DOR's Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer. Not only does DOR comply with all IRS requirements, but we have adopted the technical security that the U.S. Department of Defense uses taking our security to the next level. All of DOR's 700+ employees take extensive security training every year, which includes a large amount of cybersecurity information. Additionally, all vendors and partners connecting with DOR systems or receiving DOR data must comply with our comprehensive security requirements.

Not only is keeping data safe part of our overall mission for the agency, To serve Indiana by administering tax laws in a fair, secure, and efficient manner, but it's also at the heart of everything we do.

Our extensive ID protection and fraud prevention program that keeps bad actors from stealing hardworking Hoosiers' identities or tax refunds is full of cybersecurity measures. DOR's program utilizes big data, sophisticated system business rules and forensic analytics to identify and stop identity theft and fraudulent tax refund activity. This team meets daily during individual income tax season to update systems to adapt to new fraud schemes and is an active participant in the IRS's Information and Sharing Analysis Center (ISAC) -- an IRS, private industry and state revenue agency partnership in preventing ID theft and refund fraud. This partnership allows for a more robust set of data to help catch fraud before entering our processing system.

In its eighth year of operation, DOR's fraud program has stopped $180 million of tax refund fraud and prevented nearly 95,000 Hoosier identities from being stolen. Last year alone, $28 million in fraud was prevented.

To learn more about DOR's fraud program, be sure to visit our website at: www.in.gov/dor/fraud-prevention/indiana-eliminating-tax-fraud-attempts/.