An article this week in Automotive News brought up the topic of hackers unleashing “cyberattacks” on a dealer’s computer network. It’s something not commonly discussed all that much because dealers are so clearly focused on making sales, they don’t typically stop and think about the potential consequences of their dealership being hacked.
As such, it is no surprise that a recent survey revealed an alarming trend; specifically, that most dealers are turning a blind eye to the thought that hackers could do serious damage to their dealership. A New York-based auditing firm called Total Dealer Compliance surveyed 200 auto dealerships in five states – and their findings showed that about 70% of stores did not have the latest antivirus software protecting their systems. Worse, only about 30% even employed a person who was a network engineer possessing any kind of significant computer knowledge. Additionally, when a virus was actually discovered, the length of time it took to find it was 208 days!
The Negative Effect of Hackers
It is no wonder that a full third of auto shoppers are uncomfortable giving their personal information to a dealership when they purchase a vehicle – and even more eye-opening is the survey showed 84% of customers would never again buy from a dealership if their data was in any way compromised due to an attack from hackers.
When you think about it, a car dealership is the ideal place for someone looking to illegally acquire data. After all, they have as much or more personal info on their customers as banks – and a car dealership is much easier to hack than a bank.
So don’t just assume that it won’t happen to you, because it could. Forward-thinking dealerships have taken extra measures to ensure their safety, going as far as hiring “white hat” hackers and asking them to attempt to get into their network and expose weaknesses – so they can be fixed.
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