Why Your Auto Dealership Needs IT Consulting

We all know that technology is changing the way we do just about anything. Whether it’s writing a letter, making lunch plans with a friend, watching the latest blockbuster film, or speaking with a client halfway around the world, we can't escape the effect technology has had on just about every aspect of our lives. Perhaps technology’s largest overall impact has been in the automotive business. From relying on technology to design their appearance to engineering how a vehicle runs and interacts with drivers, to how cars and trucks are sold to consumers and serviced after the sale, the industry has undergone a sea of change.

Unfortunately, the automotive sector hasn’t done a stellar job of integrating technology into the way it deals with information security leadership. In 2015, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million Jeep Cherokees after a high-profile wireless hack, and a recent survey by the professional services firm KPMG found that 85 percent of C-level automotive officers reported that their companies had been compromised by cyber attacks in the past 24 months. Across all industries, while 69 percent of companies have a person in place to oversee cybersecurity, just 45 percent of automotive companies have a person devoted solely to dealing with such issues.

On the micro level, many auto dealerships and other small businesses aren’t faring much better. Several venerable names (including Home Depot, Target, and JP Morgan Chase) have been impacted in the past few years by data breaches that received massive publicity and caused immeasurable damage to their reputations with consumers. Many criminals have figured out that the same tactics that work on large companies can also do damage to small businesses as well. Here are a few disturbing statistics about smaller-scale cyber attacks against small businesses in the U.S.:  

  • Almost 60 percent of malware attack victims are small businesses
  • The percentage of small businesses that experienced a cyber attack increased from 55 percent in 2016 to 61 percent just a year later
  • In 2017, cyber attacks cost small and medium-sized businesses an average of $2,235,000
  • Almost 93 percent of malware is delivered via email, and almost 90 percent of malicious emails use attachments that contain malware
  • Ransomware damage is on track to cost costs businesses $11.5 billion this year and every 14 seconds a business falls victim to a ransomware attack
  • An average employee of a small business (250 employees or less) receives nine malicious emails each month

Think about the kind of information contained on the computers at your dealership: personal information about customers - such as Social Security numbers, salaries, banking information and more - a veritable treasure trove of the information criminals need to steal a person’s identity or clear out a bank account. All your dealership needs to become a victim is for an employee in your finance department to click on the “download” button on a phishing email, or one of your sales staff to unwittingly open a nefarious link in an email, exposing our CRM database to hackers. It takes just one dishonest person tricking an employee into making an honest mistake for your dealership to be compromised.  

If you’re looking for new ways to leverage technology to increase sales and improve the experience of your customers, schedule a free consultation with one of our experts today.  We’ll review your dealership’s IT system security and have an honest conversation with you to discuss vulnerabilities, possible consequences of a breach (such as lost sales and profits) and solutions to keep your dealership safe in the digital world. Let our team show you how our managed IT services can help increase productivity, decrease downtime and keep your customers safe and happy.

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