Auto dealerships have become prime targets for cyberattacks. As technology becomes increasingly integrated into every aspect of selling and servicing cars and trucks, the need for robust cybersecurity measures has never been more critical. While many dealerships rely on traditional security controls like firewalls, vulnerability scans, and endpoint tools, these alone are not sufficient to safeguard against evolving cyber threats. What’s missing is context. And, context isn’t something you can get from a checklist or a self-assessment performed by someone who is likely to be judged by the result of the self-assessment.
The Limitations of Traditional Security Controls
Traditional security controls serve as a foundational layer of protection for auto dealerships. They help prevent common cyber threats and vulnerabilities from compromising the dealership’s operations. However, these tools have inherent weaknesses when used in isolation. They often inundate staff with a flood of alerts and fail to provide comprehensive guidance on how to handle remediation and risk mitigation.
For instance, while a vulnerability scan can tell you the severity of a vulnerability, it cannot delve deeper to provide insight into the actual level of risk that vulnerability poses to your dealership. This is where contextual cybersecurity comes into play.
The Power of Cybersecurity Context
Cybersecurity context provides a more profound understanding of the situation by helping dealerships identify potential risks and threats on their attack surface and develop effective mitigation strategies. Context can be derived from various sources such as logs, network traffic, system configurations, user behavior, and threat intelligence. Analyzing these sources together paints a more comprehensive picture of the risk landscape, enabling your dealership to make more informed cybersecurity decisions.
Here are three key factors that contextual cybersecurity helps you understand:
- Prioritization: Auto dealerships can have multiple types of vulnerabilities in their environment. Some vulnerabilities are more critical than others and must be addressed first. Contextual analysis allows you to prioritize vulnerabilities based on their potential impact. For example, if you have a vulnerability that isn’t currently exploitable, it may not be a top priority compared to one that is actively being targeted.
- Urgency: Urgency involves dealing with tasks that must be addressed promptly, regardless of their importance. For instance, a front-end vulnerability might be considered a lower priority compared to a back-end vulnerability. However, if the front-end vulnerability can serve as a gateway to compromising the back-end, it becomes more urgent and should be addressed swiftly.
- Achievability: Assessing the achievability of remediation is crucial. Some vulnerabilities may require extensive resources, time, or software updates, while others may be resolved with a quick patch and no system reboot. Contextual analysis helps you understand what it takes to mitigate a specific vulnerability and whether your dealership has the necessary tools and resources to do so effectively.
Incorporating contextual cybersecurity into your dealership’s security strategy can significantly enhance your ability to protect against cyber threats. It provides the insights needed to make informed decisions, streamline remediation efforts, and allocate resources effectively. By considering prioritization, urgency, and achievability, your dealership can bolster its cybersecurity posture and reduce the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks.