Auto dealers are prone to cybersecurity attacks for a number of reasons. Those include IT infrastructure that is outdated, and weak protections for employee login credentials. On top of this, the repair bays at dealerships have Internet-connected diagnostic tools. These devices can provide a further opportunity for cybercriminals to get into the network. From there they can launch malware, listen in on Wi-Fi connections that have not been secured, and work on guessing passwords.
The reasons auto dealers are prone to cybersecurity attacks include:
Access to PII (Personally Identifiable Information)
Auto dealerships have access to private consumer information, which makes them a prime target for cybercriminals. Personal details, such as social insurance numbers, driver’s license numbers, residence addresses, and more may be included in this data.
Availability of Financial Information
The auto industry’s increasing reliance on client financial information that is stored on interconnected systems makes them more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Hackers target dealerships, insurance companies, and lenders to access sensitive financial data that can be used for fraudulent activities, emphasizing the importance of robust cybersecurity measures to mitigate risks.
Limited Cybersecurity Awareness
Some car dealerships aren’t completely aware of the many cyber risks they may encounter or the precautions they should take to be safe. This lack of knowledge can lead to underinvestment in cybersecurity measures, making them more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The consequences of these attacks can be significant, underscoring the need for better education and increased investment in cybersecurity.
Common Interconnected Systems
Dealer management, customer relationship management, and inventory management systems are just a few of the interconnected systems auto dealerships require to conduct their business. The security of the entire dealership can be compromised by a breach in any one of these systems.
Measures to Protect Auto Dealers Against Cyber Crimes
In order to reduce cybersecurity risks, auto dealerships should take the following actions:
Designate a Qualified Individual(s)
Appointing a cyber security expert to oversee the information security program of the dealership can be a great first step in protecting auto dealerships against cybercrimes. These professionals have the knowledge and resources needed to implement and enforce security policies, perform risk assessments, and monitor security incidents.
Develop a Risk Assessment System
Regular assessments play a crucial role in identifying and mitigating cybersecurity risks. By evaluating the possibility and potential impact of cyberattacks, businesses can proactively enhance their security posture.
Periodic testing of key controls, systems, and procedures is essential to keeping auto dealerships safe. This helps ensure that security measures are working as intended and that any potential vulnerabilities are identified and addressed promptly. Additionally, monitoring security logs and audit trails can help detect and respond to security incidents in a timely manner, minimizing any potential damage.
A comprehensive and ongoing assessment strategy is vital to maintaining a robust cybersecurity framework.
Limit and Monitor Access
Auto dealers should implement access controls, such as user authentication and authorization, to ensure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive information. Access logs and audit trails should be monitored to detect any unauthorized access attempts.
In addition, dealerships should consider using multi-factor authentication or a similarly secure approach for anyone accessing client data. This additional layer of security can help protect client data from unauthorized access and reduce the risk of cybersecurity breaches.
Encrypt Sensitive Information
It is important to encrypt all sensitive information in transit and at rest. Encryption helps to protect data from unauthorized access and ensures that the data cannot be read or modified by anyone without proper authorization.
Cybersecurity Awareness Training
To ensure a secure environment, it’s essential to provide adequate training for all staff. This includes regular security awareness training for all employees, as well as specialized training for security officers. By keeping security personnel trained and up-to-date, businesses can better detect and mitigate security risks.
Develop an Incident Response Plan
Auto dealerships must have a well-designed incident response plan to address security incidents. This should involve notifying relevant parties such as customers, vendors, and other stakeholders in the event of a security breach.
Oversee Vendor Practices
It is essential to oversee vendors or service providers by evaluating and selecting them based on their security practices. Ensure that they have appropriate security policies and procedures in place, and regularly assess their compliance with those policies and procedures.
The consequences of a security breach can be devastating, but auto dealerships can better protect their customers’ sensitive information and safeguard their reputation and financial well-being by employing these cybersecurity measures. BSC Solutions Group specializes in working with organizations to improve their cybersecurity protections. Reach out to us today to start a conversation.