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Auto Dealers Industry Brace for Fallout - Is your industry next?

In a stark reminder of our digital vulnerabilities, the recent cyber-attack on CDK Global has forced over 15,000 car dealerships back into the analog age, where pen and paper are poor substitutes for seamless software. This disruption has severely impacted sales and productivity, highlighting just how vulnerable businesses are to cyber threats. As dealerships scramble to maintain operations, the broader implications of this attack on small business serve as a wake-up call for industries nationwide, underscoring the urgent necessity of robust cybersecurity measures to reduce the risk of operations.

CDK Global provides a Dealer Management System (DMS) that allows for management of everything from employees, service departments, and financing. CDK experienced a system failure due to a cyberattack and was unable to maintain operations before facing another attack just one day later. It is currently unclear who is responsible for these incidents or if they are connected. The company has issued a warning to dealerships about criminals posing as CDK employees to gather sensitive account and personal information to gain system access.

There are broader implications to such a breach

  1. Because CDK Global’s DMS is widely used, a breach could have cascading implications across the automotive supply chain, affecting manufacturers, parts suppliers, and other stakeholders. 

  2. If a DMS is integrated and stores telematics data (information about the vehicle's location, performance, and diagnostics), hackers could potentially access this data. This might include driving habits, routes, and real-time location. 

As a dealership, the road ahead may be challenging, but being proactive now can secure your business for the future. Taking necessary steps to reduce the risks posed by criminals is essential to safeguard your operations and ensure continued success. 

The steps to secure your business

The Crucial Role of Independent Cyber Security Assessments

In the wake of the recent cyber-attack on CDK Global, it's clear that businesses must prioritize independent cyber security assessments. These evaluations are essential to ensure that your current protective measures are effective and to identify areas where your business might be vulnerable. By regularly conducting these assessments, you can develop targeted strategies to bolster your defenses.

How will you manage your risk? 

This question is crucial in taking the first steps toward improving your network's security posture against cyber threats. Without a thorough assessment, it's impossible to know where your vulnerabilities lie or where to focus your efforts. Investing in regular, independent cyber security assessments can provide the insights needed to protect your business and maintain productivity, even in the face of potential cyber threats.

National Automobile Dealer's Association- FTC Safeguards Rule -2023 

Leveraging Co-Managed IT for Enhanced Cyber Security

For businesses with corporate or internal IT teams, exploring the opportunities that co-managed IT brings to the table is becoming increasingly important. Co-managed IT provides an additional resource to support your existing IT team, specifically in the critical area of cyber security.

Benefits of Co-Managed IT:

  1. Enhanced Expertise: Cybersecurity firms possess extensive experience and specialized knowledge in dealing with various cybersecurity threats. This expertise is often beyond the scope of what a typical car dealership's internal IT team can provide.

  2. Scalability: Easily scale your IT capabilities based on current needs and threats, ensuring flexibility and responsiveness.

  3. Improved Security Posture: Cybersecurity firms provide thorough assessments and implement robust security measures to protect sensitive data, including customer information and financial records. This helps to ensure compliance.

4. Cost Efficiency: Optimize your IT budget by enhancing your team with

external experts without the expense of hiring full-time staff.

5.  Focus on Core Business Activities: Managing cybersecurity can be time-

consuming and complex, taking attention away from critical business functions

such as sales, customer service, and inventory management.

Co-managed IT allows your business to expand its cyber security capabilities, providing the extra support needed to protect against sophisticated cyber threats. By integrating co-managed IT services, you can ensure your internal IT team is better equipped to safeguard your business, ultimately enhancing your overall security posture.

You know the..... why? We have answers Book a strategy session here to talk with us.

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