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Navigating Cybersecurity: A 2024 Outlook for Auto Dealerships

cybersecurity within auto dealerships

Navigating Cybersecurity

Auto dealerships are facing more and more cybersecurity challenges, making the safety of customer information a top priority. Dealerships have a large task at hand: keeping sensitive information safe from hackers who are intent on looking for ways to steal it. With the rise in online threats, dealerships are stepping up their efforts, using tech and implementing regulatory safeguards to prevent sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.

The Current Cybersecurity Climate

CDK Global’s “The State of Dealership Cybersecurity 2023” found that nearly half the dealerships experienced cyberattacks in 2023, negatively impacting their finances or operations. With the noticeable increase in cyberattacks, more dealerships are taking strides to protect their data, with 53% expressing confidence in their cybersecurity measures, a noticeable rise from the previous year.

Among the safeguards, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Safeguards Rule includes a heightened focus on consumer data protection. The new rule requires increased data protection measures and calls for quick reporting of data breaches, changing the way dealerships handle cybersecurity for the better.

Rising Pressures and Emerging Threats

Dealerships are dealing with increased liability risks and rising costs of cyber insurance, all while insurance companies are offering less coverage. Erik Nachbahr of Helion Technologies points out the dilemma dealerships face: insurance is costing more but covers less, and dealers must spend more on tech and other steps to stay safe.

Cyber threats, such as phishing, add another layer of complexity. Third-party software is dealing with more scrutiny from dealers due to potential security loopholes that could expose dealers’ primary systems to cyberattacks.

Adapting and Advancing Cybersecurity Measures

Despite these issues, the auto industry is working hard to adapt and improve. Dealerships are taking action in their cybersecurity efforts, recognizing the need to protect against the impacts of cyberattacks. Compliance with regulatory requirements, like the FTC’s Safeguards Rule, has become a focal point for dealers, showing a shift towards stronger cybersecurity measures as the industry evolves digitally.

The Road Ahead

Cybersecurity for auto dealerships in 2024 is still a big challenge, from legal liabilities to the technical complexities of protecting an expanding digital footprint. Initiatives like multifactor authentication and working with tech firms are becoming more common, reflecting a comprehensive and proactive approach to cybersecurity that covers both prevention and response strategies.

As dealerships work through the complexities of cybersecurity, keeping customer data safe, adhering to regulatory requirements, and adopting security measures are key. The journey is ongoing, but with vigilance and innovation, dealerships can aim to stay ahead of cyber threats, keeping dealerships and their customers safe.

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