Motor traders must upgrade IT security, expert warns

Car dealerships need to take serious strides to improve their data security, an industry expert has warned.

Automotive technology specialist James Tew, director of iVendi, stated that the motor trade industry must ensure its IT systems are not easily hacked. With high staff turnover and a “general apathy” when it comes to data security, car dealerships are often pinpointed as a weak point in the supply chain, which means sensitive and potentially valuable information about both dealerships and their customers is being compromised.

While car dealerships must protect themselves against more modern technological threats, it remains imperative that they protect traditional business assets with a comprehensive combined motor trade insurance policy. From the physical premises through to equipment and vehicles, getting the right cover could protect a company against the danger of theft or accidents in the workplace. You can also obtain cyber liability insurance products to cover the value of information and online services to your business.

Furthermore, as part of a holistic approach to risk management, companies might wish to consult specialists such as ChoiceQuote; risk management consultants can identify ways to avoid untimely costs by introducing best practices, from how to correctly support a vehicle that is being worked on and minimising slip and trip risks for the public, to correct disposal of substances and cyber security methods, and much more besides.

Motortrader.com reports Mr Tew as saying that easily guessable passwords and a failure to update them regularly was the main issue among car dealerships.

He said: “In an industry where many dealerships have a sales staff turnover of 25-30 per cent annually, it is common to find that the username is the personal e-mail address of someone who left the business some time ago, who may now be a disgruntled ex-employee with an axe to grind against your business.

“Clearly, this kind of approach barely qualifies as security at all. It is the equivalent of leaving the front and back doors of your home open with a large sign saying ‘welcome burglars’ hanging from the eaves.”

He urges an industry-wide improvement of IT security practices to protect this valuable information.