Car dealerships are increasingly reliant on technology for everything from inventory management to customer relations. However, this means that they face the same, significant challenge that businesses struggle with: cybersecurity.

With sensitive data like customer information and financial transactions at stake, it's especially crucial for dealerships to prioritize robust cybersecurity measures. Read on for the practices that make the most difference!


Understanding the Risks
The first step in protecting your dealership is understanding risks. Cyber threats can come in many forms, including phishing attacks, ransomware, data breaches, and more. These attacks jeopardize sensitive customer data and have the potential to lead to significant financial losses. They also pose a risk to your dealership’s reputation.

Here are the practices that your dealership should focus on to minimize risk:

  1. Employee Education and Awareness: The weakest link in cybersecurity is almost always human error. Regular training sessions for your staff can go a long way, especially starting with approachable topics such as recognizing phishing emails and prioritizing strong passwords.
  2. Robust IT Infrastructure: Invest in reliable and updated IT infrastructure! This includes all the layers that we love to recommend like firewalls, anti-virus software, and intrusion detection systems. The job isn’t finished after these layers are implemented: regularly updating these systems is vital to protect against new threats, which is where an IT team such Inland Productivity can be a huge help!
  3. Data Encryption: Encrypting sensitive data ensures that even if a breach occurs, the information remains unreadable and secure. This keeps customer data and financial transactions locked down for peace of mind for you and your customers.
  4. Understand Your Third-Party Risks: The June 2024 CDK ransomware event is a perfect example of this type of risk. While it is impossible to fully eliminate this type of risk, understanding the potential scope of this risk and providing your team with the tools to minimize your exposure in an important component of planning.
  5. Regular Audits and Compliance Checks: Regularly conduct cybersecurity audits to identify any vulnerabilities. Staying compliant with industry standards like FTC safeguards and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is also crucial.
  6. Secure Mobile and Cloud Technologies: With the increasing use of mobile devices and cloud services within modern dealerships, you need to make sure that security extends to these technologies as well! Implement secure access controls and regularly monitor for any unusual activity.
  7. Incident Response Plan: Even with all the best security measures, breaches can still occur. Having a well-defined incident response plan helps in quickly addressing any security incidents, minimizing potential damages.
  8. Building a Cybersecurity Culture: Creating a cybersecurity culture means integrating cybersecurity into your business values and practices. This is a natural byproduct of creating an emphasis on training!
  9. Partnering with Cybersecurity Experts: Considering the complexity of cybersecurity, partnering with an IT team provides a significant boost to protection. These experts can conduct thorough risk assessments and provide tailored solutions without taking your focus away from what matters: your dealership!


It’s Time to Prioritize Your Protection
By implementing robust cybersecurity measures and fostering a culture of awareness, your dealership can efficiently safeguard its operations while maintaining customer trust!

Being proactive is always better than being reactive. If you’re ready to start putting cybersecurity first for your dealership, reach out at and schedule a free consultation meeting.