The automotive dealership industry is experiencing a surge in cyber attacks, making it a prime target for hackers. Despite heightened awareness and efforts toward cybersecurity, data breaches plague 17% of dealerships, starkly contrasting with the 90% committed to strengthening their security measures.
Vulnerable Data Troves: Dealerships as Prime Targets
Car dealerships store a plethora of sensitive customer data, ranging from personal identification information to transaction details. With access to names, driver’s licenses, social security numbers, and vehicle specifics like VIN numbers, these establishments hold a treasure trove for cybercriminals seeking data for ransomware or identity theft.
Customer-Facing Risks: Amplified Vulnerabilities
The customer-centric nature of car dealerships poses unique risks. The need for active communication and interaction often exposes vulnerabilities, making it easier for hackers to exploit human error or technological weaknesses, such as insecure Wi-Fi networks or security cameras.
Regulatory Implications and Preventive Measures
Federal regulations, such as the FTC’s safeguards rule, mandate that car dealerships report any data breaches within 30 days of discovery. To mitigate risks, dealerships can opt for robust cyber insurance with active monitoring, employing strategies beyond traditional IT measures. Investing in standalone cyber policies with higher limits and active monitoring mechanisms is crucial to safeguarding against evolving cyber threats.
Collaborative Action: Partnering for Enhanced Security
Relying solely on internal IT departments might not suffice against sophisticated cyber attacks. Partnering with insurers offering proactive monitoring can provide an edge by identifying and preempting emerging threats. Seeking counsel from insurance brokers or agents specializing in commercial lines ensures comprehensive cyber insurance coverage tailored to dealership needs.