Are Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Haunting Your Dealership?

Are Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Haunting Your Dealership?

Kevin Landers is the President of rocketwise – an IT and Cyber Security firm based out of Knoxville, TN. He and his team support equipment and commercial truck dealers across North America. He makes his initial blog post for Learning Without Scars with, “Are Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Haunting Your Dealership?”

Kevin possesses the unique ability to understand, and explain in non-threatening and non-technical ways how technology, business and team members work with, and sometimes, against each other. He has an innate ability to understand how technology works at the basic conceptual level and how it interacts with hardware, software, networking, people and business processes. A rare combination in today’s technology arena. 

He puts these abilities to work daily to make dealerships better by enabling them to deliver extraordinary service with rocketwise’s “Dealer Ally Success Platform”.

Kevin lives in Tennesse with his bride Summer, and their two sons – Caleb and Isaiah.

Let’s delve into a topic that’s crucial for dealerships like yours – cybersecurity. While you might not have old skeletons hidden away, there’s a good chance that cybersecurity vulnerabilities are lurking in the shadows, just waiting to cause trouble. You can’t address what you can’t see, which is why it’s time to shed light on these hidden dangers. This will empower you to take initiative-taking measures to safeguard your dealership from potential cyber threats. Here are some of the most common cybersecurity challenges faced by dealerships:

Outdated Software: The Neglected Nightmare

We understand that updating software can be a hassle, but running outdated software is akin to leaving the dealership doors wide open for hackers. When software vendors release updates, they often include crucial security patches that plug vulnerabilities. Don’t let outdated software haunt your dealership’s digital presence. Keep everything up to date to fortify your online defenses.

Weak Passwords: The Gateway for Cyber Intruders

If your passwords are weak, it’s like handing over the keys to your dealership to cybercriminals. Using predictable passwords like “123456” or “password” is a big security no-no. Instead, establish robust and unique passwords for all accounts and devices. Consider a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Password managers can be invaluable for generating and securely storing complex passwords. As a dealership owner, set guidelines for creating strong passwords and employ software to enforce this policy.

Unsecured Wi-Fi: The Vulnerable Entry Point

Imagine a scenario where a cybercriminal lurks in a parked vehicle, exploiting your dealership’s unsecured Wi-Fi network. Terrifying, right? Unsecured Wi-Fi can serve as an entry point for hackers to intercept sensitive data. Ensure your Wi-Fi is password-protected and use WPA2 or WPA3 encryption for an added layer of security. For critical dealership operations, consider implementing a virtual private network (VPN) to shield your data from prying eyes.

Lack of Employee Training: The Risk of Ignorance

Your employees can either be your dealership’s strongest defense or its weakest link. Employee errors contribute to approximately 88% of data breaches. Without proper cybersecurity training, your staff might unknowingly fall prey to phishing scams or inadvertently expose sensitive information. Regularly educate your team on cybersecurity best practices, including recognizing phishing emails, avoiding suspicious websites, and using secure file-sharing methods.

No Data Backups: The Catastrophic Loss

Imagine waking up to find your dealership’s data vanishing into the digital abyss. Without backups, this nightmare can become a reality due to hardware failures, ransomware attacks, or unforeseen disasters. Embrace the 3-2-1 rule: maintain at least three copies of your data, stored on two different media types, with one copy stored securely offsite. Regularly evaluate your backups to ensure they are functional and dependable.

No Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): The Risky Gamble

Relying solely on passwords for account protection is a risky gamble, much like having a screen door at the entrance of your dealership. Implementing MFA adds an extra layer of security, requiring users to provide additional authentication factors, such as a one-time code or passkey. This significantly bolsters your account security and makes it challenging for cyber attackers to breach your dealership’s defenses.

Disregarding Mobile Security: The Vulnerable Phones

Mobile devices have become indispensable tools for dealership operations, but they can also be vulnerable to security risks. Ensure that all company-issued devices have passcodes or biometric locks enabled. Consider implementing mobile device management (MDM) solutions to enforce security policies, remotely wipe data, and ensure devices remain up to date.

Shadow IT: The Unwanted Surprise

Shadow IT refers to the use of unauthorized applications within your dealership. While it may seem harmless when employees use convenient online tools, these unvetted applications can pose significant security risks. Establish clear policies for software and services usage within your dealership and conduct regular audits to identify any lurking shadow IT.

Incident Response Plan: Preparedness for the Unexpected

Even with all precautions in place, security incidents can still occur. Without an incident response plan, your dealership could be left scrambling. Develop a comprehensive incident response plan that outlines how your team will detect, respond to, and recover from security incidents. Regularly evaluate and update the plan to ensure its effectiveness.

Don’t let cybersecurity vulnerabilities haunt your dealership. We can assist you in identifying and addressing potential threats, ensuring a robust security posture that protects your business. Reach out to us today to schedule a cybersecurity assessment. Your dealership’s security is our top priority.

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