Is your dealership vulnerable to a cyber attack? Tiffany Simonsen weighs in.

"You should view your security as not something from keeping you from doing business, but enables you to do more business", says Simonsen.

On the latest episode of Straight to the Point, host Frank J. Lopes sits down with Security Solutions Consultant at Intrinium, Tiffany Simonsen. Lopes gets straight to the point and asks Simonsen, is any dealership vulnerable to a cyber attack?

All dealerships are vulnerable, says Simonsen. It’s not a question of an ‘if’ but a ‘when’. She says her mission is to inform the industry at large, the different steps they can take to help be prepared for not and ‘if’ but ‘when’ scenario occurs.

A cyber attack is when someone has accessed or breached your database without your permission. They can either be gathering information or hold you for ransom. They can shut down your phone system, have complete access to your computers and get a hold of your customer’s F&I data. The DMS is also completely vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Related: Next-generation theft recovery: Why wireless, battery-powered devices relieve dealer headaches and drive F&I revenue

cyber attackSimonsen says anything that is hooked up to a network, whether it’s a third-party vendor or even your Microsoft exchange server can be susceptible to attacks. She says she almost hears on a daily the occurrence of stories of automotive dealerships that have been breached. The increase in reoccurrences has erratically grown expeditiously.

To prevent a cyber attack from occurring, Simonsen says the first step is to establish a relationship with an incident response IT Firm. They’re able to act quickly. The second step is to engage in annual security hygiene checkups. Speak with your IT team and have open conversations to have someone evaluate your system. Lastly, engage in multi-factor authentication. Simonsen says, ultimately you should view your security as not something from keeping you from doing business, but enables you to do more business.

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