In today’s business environment, cybersecurity is of vital concern to businesses of all kinds and all sizes. However, auto dealerships, in particular, have faced a marked increase in cyber attacks. Given the amount of financial and personal data gathered by auto dealerships about their customers, such as bank account information and social security numbers, these businesses are often prime targets for cybercriminals. In 2019, Lexus and Toyota reported that up to 3.1 million pieces of customer data had been compromised by an attack that spanned across dealerships in four countries. The trend of auto dealership attacks appears to be growing, with the Federal Trade Commission reporting a 105% increase in cases of identity theft related to auto loans and leases from 2018-2019. Nearly all auto dealerships employ the use of security cameras and other measures at their physical locations to protect their inventory. So where is the disconnect in securing the network that keeps that business running?

Assumption vs. Reality

There is a common misconception that cybersecurity is inherently an IT issue. This thinking is compounded by the belief that a company’s cybersecurity protection is being handled by their IT team, whether by one or more in-house employees or outsourced to an IT services provider. Unfortunately, more and more companies are failing to ask critical questions to ensure their business environment is properly configured with adequate network protection and aligned with best practices to ensure resilience in today’s increasingly persistent and sophisticated cyber threat environment. They often find out too late, when faced with a data breach or cyber intrusion, that their business is not adequately protected and they are forced to spend significant time, money, and resources in an effort to simply recover and restore business operations, let alone protect for the future. On average, once a breach occurs, a malignant actor lurks within a compromised network for 197 days before the breach is noticed by a company’s IT department. This allows criminals to access a company’s network and sensitive data, such as social security numbers, personal data and sensitive business information, for months prior to being discovered.

To be clear, companies who provide cybersecurity services are not a replacement for IT departments. IT is an essential component to any business, and their ability to configure computer equipment and software, connect users, and maintain network operations allows a company to run smoothly. However, companies need to actively ensure that investments and business operations remain protected. The role of cybersecurity is to protect these networks by detecting threats in real time, responding and stopping potential damage from occurring, remediating existing vulnerabilities, and prevent future harm. Cyber Defense Labs provides comprehensive cybersecurity services working in partnership with a business’ IT team to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data and operations you rely on to conduct your business.

The services of a comprehensive cybersecurity provider like Cyber Defense Labs can be thought of as a security camera for your network. However, on top of actively monitoring your network around-the-clock (24x7x365), we also proactively help identify and quantify security gaps within your network while providing reasonable and actionable recommendations to reduce those concerns and strengthen your overall cybersecurity posture. Should you face a cyber-related incident, Cyber Defense Labs has experts on hand to help ensure a swift and effective response.

Don’t Let A Cyber Attack Put the Brakes on Your Business

The stakes are high for auto dealerships when it comes to cybersecurity. A cyber attack can paralyze business operations and lock you out of your own network for several days or more.  That means no sales, services, access to computers and customer data, payments acceptance, or orders.  Not to mention the affect it has on customer trust and perception. According to TotalDealerCompliance, 84% of surveyed customers said they would “not buy another car from a dealership after their data had been compromised”.

Protection against this threat requires expertise in cybersecurity and cyber criminality to ensure your IT environment and business operations are not compromised. Security companies like Cyber Defense Labs, working with a company’s IT department, helps to ensure the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of a company’s most crucial data. Much like how security cameras and personnel secure a brick and mortar store location, Cyber Defense Labs’ experts work tirelessly to secure your dealership’s network environment, allowing you to focus on your core business without interruption to customer service.

Posted by NADA

National Automobile Dealers Association