In today’s increasingly digital world, all businesses need to know how to be cyber secure, and auto dealerships are no exception. Websites advertise vehicles for sale and store valuable information about customers and employees. In some cases, customers can even buy cars online! So, how does one keep this information safe from hackers and data leaks?
1- Train Your Employees
It’s important that all employees of the auto dealership are trained to avoid phishing attempts. What is phishing? Simply put, phishing is “fishing” for private information on the internet, usually in an attempt to scam someone, hack into their accounts, or sell their data on the dark web.
Phishers may send emails to your employees, claiming to be customers or even their boss. Employees must be trained to recognize legitimate emails and identify scams. Phishing emails often contain careless grammatical errors, but sometimes they can be quite sophisticated. Teach employees to never give out sensitive information to unknown email addresses.
2- Block Certain Websites
While viruses and malware are scary, there are thankfully many ways to prevent them from becoming a problem. First, it’s important for employees not to browse random websites while at work. Some sites are less secure than others and may contain viruses. If there are too many employees to monitor ordinarily, a website blocker may prove useful. Another simple way to prevent viruses is to regularly update computer software by occasionally restarting the computers. Since digital viruses are continually evolving, just like their real-world counterparts, software updates keep new viruses from infecting your old machines. Some types of computers, like Chromebooks and those running Linux, are less likely to get viruses, so that is something to also consider.
3- Eliminate Password Usage
Why? Because in many ways, they can be considered an outdated form of security. Think about it. Simple passwords are easy to remember, but also easy for hackers to guess. More complex passwords are more secure but also a hassle, and if you forget them, you could end up locked out of your own accounts. Instead of having passwords for auto dealership employees to remember, consider using a multi-factor authentication program that will validate employees’ credentials instead of them having to use passwords.
4- Stop Using Virtual Private Networks
Next, you’ll want to consider your usage of virtual private networks (VPN). Virtual private networks are praised for obscuring a computer’s IP address, which can reveal sensitive data about the user’s location, but they have downsides. Many virtual private networks pose major security risks to users because it’s hard to create and enforce security to protect credentials and information and extremely slow for the user experience.
In an auto dealership, you might assume that the vehicles on the lot are the items that need to be kept the most secure, but actually, it’s the data and technology that the dealership uses that needs to be kept the most secure. Vehicles can be replaced, and if damage is done to one of them, the culprit can be found most of the time. However, with cybersecurity, you might not know the damage is done until months or years afterward, and it can harder to catch a cyber-criminal. Thankfully, multiple steps can be taken to lessen a cyber risk and make an auto dealership more secure.