Cybersecurity hygiene is a set of habitual practices that you perform regularly to maintain the health and security of users, devices, networks, and data. It’s like brushing your teeth. Good cybersecurity hygiene – like brushing your teeth – is a consistent routine meant to prevent or mitigate health issues.
Cybersecurity hygiene has become an essential method for creating operational resilience. It’s one of the best ways to improve a dealership’s overall security posture because it makes your dealership a more difficult target for the cybercriminal to penetrate. As a result, if the cybercriminal determines that hacking into your dealership will be difficult, risky, and time consuming then they are likely to move on to a target that is easier to attack.
Proper cybersecurity hygiene mitigates most of the routine lapses that often result in a cybersecurity incident. These include things like not knowing what endpoints are connecting to your network, not detecting indications of an attack in the making, failing to implement security patches in an expeditious fashion, and having users fall victim to a phishing or social engineering attack.
Good cybersecurity hygiene requires dealerships to do the following:
- Implement Multifactor Authentication – because passwords are typically weak and are routinely compromised.
- Implement Advanced Endpoint Threat Protection – which provides the ability to detect and stop an attack in its infancy – therefore reducing or eliminating its impact.
- Encrypt Your Data – with data encryption, even if data is compromised it will be unusable.
- Regularly Perform & Test Data Backups – by backing up and testing regularly, you will be able to restore your systems quickly in case of a cybersecurity incident.
- Promptly Apply Security Patches – this is essential to maintaining the security of your dealership’s operating systems, applications, and firmware.
- Regularly Test Your Incident Response Plan – make sure you have an incident response plan and then regularly test to identify areas for improvement.
- Assess & Replace Outdated Equipment – devices that are no longer supported by the manufacturer will no longer receive security patching.
- Tightly Control Admin Privileges – only those who need admin-level access should have it. Careful and ongoing management of admin privileges is of critical importance to protecting your network.
- Segment Your Network – this will limit how far a cybercriminal can move if they do manage to penetrate your network. It will also minimize the impact and scope of an attack.
- Ensure You Have Trained & Qualified Cybersecurity Expertise – an effective cyber defense demands that you have the proper level of expertise overseeing and implementing your information security program.
- Continuously Perform Security Awareness Training – employees clicking a malicious link is the most common way that the cybercriminal gains access to your network. Training will help employees to avoid being tricked by the cybercriminal.
How is your dealership’s cybersecurity hygiene? This is an important question for you to consider because more than ever, your dealership’s ability to sell and service cars and trucks depends on it.