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The Ticking Time Bomb: ATO Documents Exposing TFNs Without Adequate 2FA/MFA Protection

In today’s digital age, data security remains a crucial concern for organisations and individuals alike. One critical concern, which remains a ticking time bomb, is the widespread sending of Australian Taxation Office (ATO) documents via email that include Tax File

Numbers (TFNs) in Payment Reference Numbers (PRNs) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) codes. Many accounting firms continue to transmit these documents without enforcing two-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA/MFA), leaving sensitive client information vulnerable.

The Alarming Reality

In a world where cybercriminals are continually improving their tactics, email remains one of the most exploited channels. Despite this reality, many organisations continue to rely on sending ATO documents through email, attaching files containing sensitive TFN data without securing them with adequate encryption or authentication protocols. It's common to find TFNs embedded in PRN and EFT codes in these documents, providing a potential gateway for hackers to steal identities.

Redaction Gaps: The Hidden Vulnerability

Despite claims by accounting firms that their security protocols are robust and that they are

redacting TFNs effectively, the story is different. Often, they only redact some of the visible

TFNs while neglecting those hidden within PRN and EFT codes. This partial redaction still

leaves their clients at risk of identity theft and other fraudulent activities.

The Cost of Ignoring the Risks

If you are sending out these ATO documents without 2FA/MFA, you are leaving your clients exposed. How many of these emails, complete with sensitive data, are just sitting in inboxes waiting for a hacker to access? The risk of compromise is real, and organisations are increasingly becoming aware of how dangerous the exposure can be.

Book a Demo to Secure Your Clients Information

Stop losing sleep over the risks of hackers gaining access to your client's sensitive data and potential data breaches. Book a demo today to explore how the ATO SmartDocs Vault can protect your clients and your organisation's security framework, giving you peace of mind.

Visit to know more about the 2FA that we follow and book a free ATO Document Delivery Security Audit (Select “Book a Demo”).

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