4 Min Read • October 27, 2022
When It Comes to Cybersecurity, Everyone Is a Target
Dealers have a lot of valuable data, from business insights to financials and data about their customers and employees. That means they need to make sure they keep it all protected and in accordance with current regulations. This also applies to their partners and vendors.
All dealers must examine their (potential) cyber risks and continuously prepare for a possible crisis. Sometimes we may feel that cyber risk is only a problem for large corporations, banks, and merchants. In truth, hackers are more likely to target businesses with the weakest protection, regardless of size. We must have a mentality to constantly protect our dealership. Today, the need for dealers to protect confidential information is a pressing concern at the highest levels of government and industry.
A Security Breach That Exposes Customer Data Can Result in Financial Loss
Loss of customer loyalty, trust, and brand reputation are all typical for victims of cybercrime. Dealers should be open and honest about how they collect, use, and share data from their customers. They must also have in place the security technology, security policies, risk management, and layered cyber security approach that are required to keep data secure.
Cybercrimes are common in the U.S. Studies show that the frequency of brute-force attacks alone averages out to one attempted hack every 39 seconds. According to the FBI, there are 4,000 ransomware attacks targeting businesses daily. There were about 26,000 Distributed Denial of Service attacks each day in the same year, which averages out to 18 per minute. Some of these attacks are random, but many others are targeted. A staggering 87% of businesses have faced a cyberattack designed to exploit a known system vulnerability.
Hackers perform billions of malicious scans, find their way into millions of sensitive digital records, blackmail organizations, target infrastructures and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars each day. Ginni Rometty, former chairman, president and chief executive officer of IBM, called cybercrime “the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world.”
A Multilayer Cybersecurity Approach Is the Best Way To Thwart Any Serious Cyberattack
A combination of firewalls, software and a variety of tools will help combat malware that can affect everything from mobile phones to Wi-Fi. Below are a few examples of a good security posture to begin within your dealership.
- Use antivirus software. Antivirus software is very important. It's an important protective measure useful against cybercriminals and malicious threats. It can automatically detect, quarantine, and remove types of malware. Automatic virus updates should always be enabled to ensure maximum protection against the latest threats.
- Keep software up to date. Attackers have been known to take advantage of well-known problems and vulnerabilities. Making sure you install software patches and utilizing automatic updates for your operating system will help protect you from attackers.
- Include a firewall. Firewalls can prevent some attacks by limiting malicious traffic before it can enter a computer. It also restricts unnecessary outbound communications. Some devices and operating systems come with a firewall preinstalled. Ensure your device is currently using a firewall and that it is configured properly.
- Use strong passwords. Creating passwords that will be difficult for cybercriminals to guess is vital. Use different passwords for different programs and devices. It's also best to use long, strong passphrases or passwords that consist of at least 15 to 16 characters. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts.
- Double your login protection. Enable multifactor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, business applications, or any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device, such as your smartphone, an authenticator app or a secure token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring.
- Watch for Phishing. The goal is to gain information about you and use your information to make unauthorized purchases or gain access to a secure system. Be suspicious of unexpected emails and always check email address sources to make sure the email is not coming from a fake website. Train and educate your staff with quarterly Security Awareness Training.
- Have a leader in your dealership to manage and monitor your cyberprotection process.
Cybersecurity Is Essential
Remember, cybersecurity is essential because it safeguards you and your dealership against potential cyberthreats. Because of constant technological advancements, many dealerships are vulnerable to cybercriminal activities such as hacking, ransomware, data theft and damage. Because the rate of cybercrime is increasing, you may lose sensitive information, money or your reputation if you don’t have cyber security. The importance of cybersecurity is equal to the importance of evolving technology and to the importance of running your dealership. Keep cybersecurity at the forefront of your dealership's mind at all times.