Dealerships have always been a prime target for thieves and hackers. That’s mainly because, besides having a large volume of high-dollar products available, dealerships typically gather a significant amount of consumer data in one place. Therefore, it’s easy to see why so many dealerships are being targeted by cybercriminals these days and why they should remain vigilant when protecting sensitive information against evolving cyberthreats. Since a cyberattack can have devastating and long-lasting consequences for a business, here are three simple steps you can take in order to keep hackers at bay.
Opt for Cyber Liability Insurance
Because cyber liability insurance is designed specifically for data breaches and cyberattacks, it typically covers loss of income, cyber extortion, data restoration, extra expenses, including legal fees and fines, and other costs associated with cyber security threats. While there are different coverage levels available, the most basic types of coverage guarantees that you will be protected against loss, if sensitive information is stolen or accessed without your knowledge or authorization. More importantly, this coverage protects against consumer lawsuits filed after a data breach up to a certain amount. Any company who collects sensitive information, such as applicant data used for loan approvals, should opt for enough cyber liability coverage to at least cover the costs of a cyberattack and settle any lawsuits brought by consumers after a data breach.
Train Your Employees
While Hollywood would have you believe that hacking is a complex “game” that involves complex coding and super-genius mathematics, the truth is that most hacking is done at the ground level. Hackers often gain access to networks because employees are careless with their login information. The problem is that when hackers gain access to the network using a valid username and password, it can be nearly impossible to track them down. Not to mention that it can also take considerably longer to notice the red flags. Additionally, specialists have observed that email-based attacks, especially phishing, have grown significantly in recent years, costing businesses billions of dollars.
While firewalls, antivirus software, disk encryption, and other cyber security technology play a critical role in protecting your system, training your employees is the basis for preventing a cyberattack or data breach. A cyber security training program should teach your employees how to spot suspicious emails, how to select passwords, how to maintain the physical security of the company and personal devices, and how to set policies for guarding sensitive business information.
Training your employees on the importance of password protection as well as mandating password changes on a regular basis could also help you prevent hackers from breaching your network. Your employees also need to be aware of what questions a hacker might ask about the loan process, prices, and any other topics that could be used to find alternative entry points into the system. Many employees don't realize that what appears to be harmless chit-chat may actually provide cybercriminals with the information they need in order to gain access into your system.
Conduct Security Audits
The dealership's primary purpose is to sell, not to build a bulletproof network. Thus, it is imperative that dealerships contract a qualified networking and security company to help them set up their systems. A security audit can help identify red flags before they are exploited, and can even identify individuals within your company who are routinely causing red flags. This can be a good way to determine what training needs to be done, as well as what changes need to be made to your daily protocols to better protect your data. Of course, the landscape of threats on the internet is ever changing as new bugs and viruses are introduced, so security audits need to be conducted on a regular basis to remain effective. On the other hand, if your system is outdated, it could be susceptible to a wide range of viruses at any given time.
Consumers trust dealerships to protect their data, so dealerships need to take cyber security threats seriously. Even a small dealership can be a target because small businesses typically have less advanced security systems in place. Besides having an expert opinion on your system's security, the best protection against hacking is having your team properly trained about what cyber security threats exist out there and how to identify them. Once these steps are completed, cyber liability coverage will cover your dealership for any loss or damage that may occur over and above the protective steps you have already taken. This liability coverage will be an important factor in helping you recover if you ever do fall victim to a hacking attack. For more information on cyber security and other aspects related to the manufactured housing industry, feel free to contact us here.
*This blog has been updated from its orignal posting.