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Secure Document Hosting: Why ATO Smartdocs Chooses Azure and Office 365

In an era where cyber threats are increasingly sophisticated, the security of sensitive financial documents, such as those handled by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), is paramount. ATO Smartdocs, a service provider for hosting and managing ATO documents, has embraced Microsoft Azure and Office 365 for its hosting needs. This decision is rooted in the platforms' robust security features, which provide a safer alternative to traditional email attachments.

The Risks of Email Attachments

Sending ATO documents as email attachments poses significant security risks. Email inboxes can be easily compromised, and attachments are vulnerable to interception. Traditional email services often lack two-factor authentication (2FA), leaving them open to unauthorized access. Recognizing these vulnerabilities, the ATO itself has adopted a policy of never emailing ATO documents as attachments to taxpayers, even with redacted Tax File Numbers (TFNs).

The Security of Azure and Office 365

Microsoft Azure and Office 365 offer a secure environment for hosting ATO documents. These platforms provide:

  1. Advanced Security Measures: Encryption, threat detection, and regular security updates protect documents from cyber threats.

  2. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): This adds an extra layer of security, requiring two forms of identification to access documents.

  3. Familiarity and Trust: Many firms already use Office 365, so clients are more likely to trust a web app running on Azure.

  4. Compliance: Azure and Office 365 adhere to industry standards and regulations, ensuring that documents are handled appropriately.

Why the ATO Hosts Documents in the Cloud

The ATO's decision to host documents in the cloud, through platforms like MyGov and the Tax Agent Portal, is driven by the need for security and accessibility. Cloud hosting provides:

  1. Centralized Security: The cloud offers a controlled environment where security measures can be consistently applied and monitored.

  2. Accessibility: Taxpayers and tax agents can access documents securely from anywhere, at any time.

  3. Data Integrity: Cloud platforms have mechanisms in place to ensure that data is not tampered with or lost.


ATO Smartdocs' choice to use Microsoft Azure and Office 365 for hosting client ATO documents aligns with the broader trend in the industry towards secure cloud-based solutions. By leveraging these platforms, ATO Smartdocs offers its clients a secure, convenient, and trusted environment for managing their sensitive financial documents. This approach mirrors the ATO's own practices, emphasizing the importance of security and accessibility in handling tax-related documents.

Visit and book a free ATO Document Delivery Security Audit (Select “Book a Demo”).

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