Car dealerships told to tighten up wi-fi access protocols

Car dealerships across the UK have been warned to tighten up their cyber security to prevent customer details being stolen by hackers, reports Auto Express.

Following a recent government report in which it was revealed that 74 per cent of small businesses in the UK had experienced a cyber attack in the last year, car dealerships have been warned about allowing open access to their wi-fi networks, due to concerns that customer details could be hacked.

In one incident that happened fairly recently, a car dealership was forced to pay hackers to unencrypt its data after hackers had launched a ransomware attack via the company’s guest wi-fi network. Ransomware attacks completely lock a target’s files, preventing them from accessing anything until a fee is paid to the hackers to unencrypt the files. In this particular case, the dealership’s main server and personal records were breached.

In addition to ensuring that your IT systems are secure, it’s important to make sure your car dealership is fully protected. Therefore, you should consider combined motor trade insurance to protect both your stock and your customers' details in the event of any unexpected damage or other loss.

William Taaffe, a cyber security expert at RDS, had the following advice for car dealers: “Everyone loves convenience, but it comes at a price from a security point of view.” Taaffe also highlighted a particular kind of hack that involves using access to details of those who have either bought vehicles or registered for a test drive in order to perform long-term cons that remain difficult for police to investigate. He added: “The reality is the police don’t have the resources to deal with it.”

The three main styles of hack are via guest wi-fi networks, which can be manipulated to provide access to sensitive company information; the use of outdated software in which there may still exist unpatched vulnerabilities; and fake wi-fi hotspots that use key loggers to capture customer details.