The IRS has expanded its use of a wireless and remote access technology over the past several years, allowing employees to access the IRS Network from airports, hotels, their homes . . . anywhere. While it’s interesting to think of the IRS revenue officer sitting at home in his boxers in front of the TV sending out wage garnishment notices and lien letters, the more noteworthy issues here are (1) the efficiency of wireless technology and (2) the security issues it poses for the American taxpayer. The IRS really has to balance these competing values and TIGTA has stepped in recently to help do some balancing.
Today TIGTA released an audit report giving mostly positive marks to the IRS wireless activities. The IRS has adequate controls in place that monitor whether or not the secure network has been breached, and these controls are functioning properly. However, some IRS employees have been accessing the wireless network from unauthorized wireless devices (personally owned USB wireless adapters).