With the automotive retail industry facing continued pressure from multiple sources, it is important for managers and owners to keep a strong focus on secure and reliable business operations. Your dealership must protect consumer and employee information and this requires an effective IT security strategy.
Failing to implement effective computer security for your car dealership could end in disaster, and in today’s competitive market most dealerships simply cannot afford a major security breach or major government penalty.
Below you’ll find 5 critical steps your dealership should implement as soon as possible to safeguard private information and develop a strong IT security strategy.
#1) Define Policies and Procedures. It is impossible to have a strong security practice without clear procedures and policies. Employees should understand the importance of security and should have processes to follow to ensure the IT environment is secure. Employees should also be clear on what is not allowed with customer data and work computers.
#2) Security Training. Any employee with access to your dealership’s network and customer data is a potential security risk. Hacking techniques continue to get more sophisticated and thus your team needs to continually be trained on how to avoid security issues online. For example, train employees how to spot fake “phishing” emails and avoid clicking risky links or downloading dubious attachments.
#3) Antivirus Software Updates. All dealership workstations must be running modern antivirus software that is kept updated regularly and automatically. Antivirus software is simply not effective without frequent updates to stay abreast of new security threats.
#4) Good Password Policies. Your systems should not allow users to set easily guessable password like “abc123” or common words. Your employees should also be required to change their passwords with some frequency. Train employees on how to choose passwords that are easy to remember but hard to guess.
#5) Disable USB Ports. Your dealership computers should have their USB ports disabled both to avoid an employee accidentally infecting your network, as well as prevent any malicious person from stealing confidential data.