Cyberattacks can happen to anyone, but hackers tend to focus on targets they deem the most valuable. That’s why companies are often the biggest prey. This is not a new development, however, as cyberthreats have been a problem in the business world for years. As a result, cybersecurity has become as much of a business necessity as the internet.
While it may seem like cybersecurity is only meant for tech companies and financial institutions, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Every business should prioritize keeping their data safe, even car dealerships. And due to recent developments, dealerships are now seen as equivalent to financial institutions. In this blog, we’re going to explain why it’s never been more important to have automotive cybersecurity.
The Importance of Automotive Cybersecurity
When a customer comes to a dealership, intending to make a purchase, they work with your sales staff to make a deal. However, before they can buy the car, your dealership requires certain information that ranges anywhere from home addresses to payment details. With this collection of confidential information, your business becomes a prime target for cybercriminals. The dealerships that sell these cars also hold the confidential details of their customers.
As an entity that manages the sensitive data of your clients, you are responsible for the protection of their information. Not only could a data leak ruin the lives of your customers, but it could also result in serious consequences for your company. That’s why it’s important for dealerships to implement comprehensive automotive cybersecurity. But what exactly is auto dealer data security?
What Is Automotive Cybersecurity?
Automotive cybersecurity is cyberthreat protection designed specifically with automotive in mind. This solution fights against car dealership data breaches that could result in the compromising of anything stored in your database. Essentially, it’s like the cybersecurity services you would get for an office, but instead, it’s applied to dealerships.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Need for Automotive Cybersecurity
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) is a type of regulation that requires financial institutions to explain their information-sharing practices to their customers and to safeguard sensitive data. Under this standard, any business that offers financial products (e.g. loans, insurance, and more) is considered to be a financial institution. On October 27, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) finalized changes to the Safeguards Rule in the GLBA. This is the first time a change has been made to the rule since it was invented in 2002.
The connection between this rule change and automotive cybersecurity is how car dealerships are now classified. After this change went into effect, car dealerships are now recognized as financial institutions. If you don’t act immediately to meet compliance standards, you could find yourself facing paying up to $43,792 per violation.
The Rise of Cyberattacks on Vehicles
The sad truth is that cybercrime has been steadily increasing from year to year. With the rise of connected cars, it’s no surprise we’re seeing more automotive cyberattacks. Hackers have even figured out how to attack the systems within the car. In 2020 alone, over 200 car-related cyber incidents were publicly reported, according to Upstream. Some of the most common methods of attack include:
- Denial of service (DOS): During this attack, the vehicle’s systems are overwhelmed to the point that they become unresponsive. While it doesn’t give a hacker access to information, it can be used for more malicious purposes.
- Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack: An MitM attack puts someone in the middle between a client and the server. As data travels from client to server and vice versa, the hacker can steal the information.
- Command injection data corruption: This type of attack works by injecting a special command to the engine control unit (ECU). Through the command, the data stored in the ECU becomes corrupted, which can wreak havoc on a car’s system.
Protecting Your Customers With Automotive Cybersecurity
Investing in automotive cybersecurity can help you avoid troubles that come with a cyberattack. You can get the service you need by partnering with a managed service provider that specializes in automotive cybersecurity solutions. Computer Technology Management Services (CTMS) offers dealership technology solutions that cover all of your cybersecurity needs.
When you choose to work with us, we can help you stay secure by:
- Implementing solutions that reliably identify and report threats (e.g. embedded firewalls)
- Encrypting data to protect confidential information
- Protecting external and internal communications in a vehicle
- Authenticating communications and blocking contact from unauthorized devices
- Hardening ECUs by getting rid of interfaces and services that can be potential entry points for hackers
Gain Peace of Mind With Automotive Cybersecurity
CTMS is an industry-leading managed services provider based in Akron, Ohio. From cloud services to business phones, we offer a wide range of solutions, but one of our specialties is cybersecurity. Our team can work with you to develop a cybersecurity strategy that keeps you compliant with the requirements of the GLBA.
Contact us today to learn more.
Computer Technology Management Services (CTMS) supports organizations nationwide with high-quality, customizable business IT tools and cybersecurity strategies for dealerships and more.
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