3 Steps To Increase Cyber Security At Your Dealership

Car dealerships and automotive groups are juicy targets for cybercriminals with their wealth of identity and financial information. Cyber security in many dealerships is lax, and many don’t even have full time IT teams, with even fewer having cybersecurity risk management skills in house. While this is changing, for the better, as dealerships become more data-centric and more automated, many are moving to become more proactive against cybersecurity threats. 

In addition to organized criminals seeking to capture and sell personal information,  global threats stemming from phishing, malware, ransomware and social engineering also plague dealerships. Phishing and ransomware are among the leading causes of financial losses tied to cybersecurity in the dealership space. Even as the federal regulators refine their focus on dealerships as financial institutions, more and more attackers have shifted some of their attention in the automotive sales direction.

Additionally, a short walk through social media doesn’t require much effort to identify dealerships as a common target for consumer anger, frustration and threats. Some of the anger shown toward car dealerships has proven to turn into physical security concerns, while it is almost assured that some of the industry’s network breaches and data breaches can also be tied back to this form of “hacktivism”. In fact, spend some time on Twitter or chat rooms, and you can find conversations and a variety of information of hacking dealership wireless networks and WiFi cameras. These types of cybersecurity incidents are proving to be more and more popular. 

With all of this cybersecurity attention to dealerships, are there any quick wins to be had? We asked our MSI team and the folks we work with at the SecureDrive Alliance that very question. Here’s the best 3 tips they could put forth:

1) Perform a yearly cybersecurity risk assessment – this should be a comprehensive view of your network architecture, security posture, defenses, detection tools, incident response plans and disaster recovery/business continuity plan capabilities. It should include a complete inventory of all PII and threats that your dealership faces. Usually this is combined with penetration testing and vulnerability assessment of your information systems to measure network security and computer security, as well as address issues with applications and social engineering. 

2) Ensure that all customer wireless networks and physical security systems are logically and physically segmented from operations networks – all networks should be hardened in accordance with information security best practices and separated from the networks used for normal operations, especially finance and other PII related processes. Network traffic from the customer wireless networks should only be allowed to traverse the firewall to the Internet, and may even have its own Internet connection such as a cable modem or the like. Cameras and physical security systems should be hardened against attacks and all common credentials and default passwords should be changed. Software updates for all systems should be applied on a regular basis.

3) Train your staff to recognize phishing, eliminate password re-use among systems and applications and reportcybersecurity attacks to the proper team members – your staff is your single best means of detecting cyber threats. The more you train them to identify and resist dangerous behaviors, the stronger your cybersecurity maturity will be. Training staff members to recognize, handle, report and resist cyber risks is one of the strongest value propositions in information security today. The more your team members know about your dealership’s security protocols, service providers and threats, the more effective they can be at protecting the company and themselves. Buidling a training resource center, and setting up a single point of contact for reporting issues, along with sending out email blasts about the latest threats are all great ways to keep your team on top of the issues.

There you have it, three quick and easy wins to help your dealership do the due diligence of keeping things cyber secure. These three basic steps will go a long way to protecting the business, meeting the requirements of your regulatory authority and reduce the chances of substantial harm from cyber attacks. As always, remaining vigilant and attentive can turn the tide. 

If you need any assistance with cybersecurity, risk management, penetration testing or training, MicroSolved and the SecureDrive Alliance are here to help. No matter if you’re a small business or a large auto group, our risk management and information security processes based on the cybersecurity framework from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will get you on the road to effective data security. Simply contact MSI via this web form, or the SecureDrive Alliance via our site, and we will be happy to have a no cost, no hassle discussion to see how we can assist you.  

ClawBack For Credit Unions

I got a question recently from one of our Credit Union clients about ClawBack™. They explained that they don’t really do any internal development, so leaking source code was not a concern for them. Based on that, they wondered, would ClawBack still be a useful tool for them?

I pointed out that most larger Credit Unions do some form of development, or at the very least, that their systems admin folks often write (and potentially expose) scripts and other management tools that would be of use to an attacker. However, even if they didn’t do any development at all, leveraging something like the Professional level of ClawBack as a DIY tool ($149.00 per month) is still a good idea.

Further, I explained that source code leaks are only one third of the focus of the ClawBack tool. It also searches for leaked device/application configurations and leaked credentials. Every Credit Union with a network needs to think about leaked device and application configurations. These are the most commonly found items in ClawBack’s history. Whether by accident, or misunderstanding or malicious intent, thousands of leaked configuration files wind up on the Internet in repositories, support forums, answer sites, social media and paste bins. When found, they can provide significant amounts of damaging information to attackers, ranging from logins and passwords to sensitive cryptography and API keys. In some cases, they can be a nearly complete map of the internal network.

Thirdly, ClawBack also focuses on leaked credentials. It can help identify stolen and compromised passwords belonging to members of your organization. Many times, these credentials contain the same or similar passwords as Internet exposed applications, webmail or email access and potentially even weakly secured VPN instances. Stolen and leaked credentials are among the most significant root causes of breaches, business email compromise and a variety of other fraud.

Your CU Security team can add ClawBack to their toolkit for less than $150 per month. It’s simple to use, flexible and an incredibly powerful capability to minimize the damage from data leaks. Check out this less than 8 minute video for more information. If you’d like to discuss ClawBack or our ClawBack Managed and Professional Services, please drop us a line, or give us a call at (614) 351-1237 today.