The high velocity consolidation of the automotive retail space coupled with an explosion in cybercrime makes it increasingly important to be aware of the impact an acquisition can have on the capacity and effectiveness of your IT team. Throw into the mix a slew of new consumer data privacy regulations like the FTC Safeguards Rule, CCPA, and New York’s SHIELD Act and you have a perfect storm that makes you a highly vulnerable target for the cybercriminal.
Whether your dealership is considering a merger or acquisition – or you work with a vendor going through a merger or acquisition – the following are a few things to consider to best protect your business from a cyberattack.
- IT Capacity Strain – During a merger or acquisition, IT resources are often over-burdened. This presents a significant increase in your risk of cyberattack. Be sure to carefully plan for the impact an acquisition will have on the IT resources your dealership depends on.
- Data Security – Each organization involved in a merger or acquisition will have data in their repositories that each other will want to access. This presents a potential vulnerability as each organization works to ensure an appropriate and synchronized cybersecurity posture that mitigates the risk of a data breach. Carefully consider how data – especially consumer data – will be shared between organizations and how this data will be used. This too, will strain the capacity and effectiveness of your IT team.
- Infrastructure Incompatibility – For appropriate and productive data sharing between the acquiring company and the acquired, different technology infrastructure can pose incompatibility and scalability challenges when integrating the systems together. This not only results in a cybersecurity vulnerability, but also impacts the capacity, effectiveness, and resilience of the IT team.
- Operating Model Modifications & Disgruntled Employees – Changes in roles, responsibilities and operations can cause cybersecurity vulnerabilities as employees try to adapt. Quite often, a merger or acquisition will leave some employees disgruntled and will lead to an increase in employee turnover. Some of these disgruntled employees may be those responsible for IT. If so, add this to the list of items that will impact IT effectiveness.
A merger or acquisition is a turbulent time for any organization – including dealerships. In most cases, this is a time that puts a significant strain on IT resources and as a result increases the risk of a successful cyber attack. If you need help, please let us know.