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Henares to taxpayers: Your data is safe with us

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 01:48 AM April 25, 2016
Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

INFORMATION pertaining to taxpayers, their  payments and other data are secure on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) web site, according to the country’s largest tax collection agency as it allayed fears cyber criminals could access the system.

“There’s always network security in place. That was also the reason why last year, taxpayers had difficulty accessing our web site during e-filing. Our firewall was robust,” said Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares.

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Because BIR data contain sensitive information, Henares said they should strike a balance between web site accessibility and security, although considerations for the latter would always outweigh convenience to  taxpayers.

“If you have high security, entering our system becomes more inconvenient…  But we cannot sacrifice security just because we want to make it more accessible,” she said.

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According to Henares, the BIR added another layer of security to its web site that prevents entry to its database.

“Not just anyone can enter, that’s the tradeoff. There’s always another server in between that people may access, and they cannot enter our database directly.”

She said the recent leak of voters data from the Commission on Elections  web site served to bolster the BIR’s security awareness.

While Henares admitted that no system was hack-proof, she said the BIR would always update its systems to ensure that  high security features are in place.

“We try to be updated. We try to be one step ahead of cyber criminals,” she said.

In case a cyber criminal gets through the BIR web site’s defenses, the agency’s IT personnel would shut down or switch off the entire system to prevent access to or the leak of sensitive data, Henares said.

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