Among the many priorities and demands that come with running a successful dealership, cybersecurity may fall by the wayside. After all, dealerships’ status as independent, brick-and-mortar businesses seems to make them unappealing targets for hackers. Won’t those criminals focus their efforts on richer veins of digital data held by online-first corporations and IT organizations?
Such an attitude, while understandable, puts your dealership at risk. Though you deal with customers in person, your systems are still filled with content criminals can exploit for financial gain. Small and independent companies are frequent targets of cyberattacks, and it’s better to acknowledge that fact through proactive defenses rather than in the aftermath of a breach.
The following are three of the most prominent attack types to watch out for:
Ransomware attacks are simple in concept, but they can devastate companies that fall victim. When a hacker uses this type of method to strike a business, users lose access to their files and data. The criminal will demand a ransom to free the information, leaving the organization in an awkward position. There’s no assurance that firms will ever get their data access back, even if they pay up.
According to the Better Business Bureau, losing information permanently could financially wound an independent company. In the organization’s latest survey, 35 percent of organizations stated they would remain profitable for three or more months without access to their data. The other 65 percent would find themselves struggling sooner, perhaps having to shut down.
2. Physical Computer Access
Sometimes a hacker doesn’t need to crack a company’s systems from afar to gain access to privileged information. If a dealership is careless about the way it manages computers or mobile devices with access to its systems, criminals may simply log in through one of those endpoints and make malicious use of the data they find.
The Federal Communications Commission urged company leaders to ensure their systems require password-protected access, with each employee having his or her own login details. Imagine a business laptop getting into a thief’s hands. If that criminal is allowed to log in and view dealership files without even entering a password, the company is at risk.
Employees’ inboxes are another potential site of danger. Inc. explained that phishing is at especially high rates today, with criminals firing off thousands of email messages in the hopes of tricking a victim into clicking a malicious link or entering personal data.
Inc. noted there are two distinct approaches to email hoaxes. The basic form of phishing prizes quantity of attacks over quality, while spear phishing is based on carefully designing emails to be hard to detect. No matter how the criminal gains access, the end result is the same: Protected data will be in danger.
Time to Act
When you don’t give cybersecurity an adequate amount of time or attention, you’re inadvertently increasing the risk of criminals infiltrating your company’s systems. While the aforementioned methods are some of the most prominent risks today, they’re not a comprehensive overview of security. New attack types are always emerging, so you must strive to keep ahead of the curve.