How Car Dealers & Garages Can Protect Their Businesses From Cyber-Attack
15th May 2017
We have all seen in the news how the latest malware virus “WannaCry” has taken hold, affecting over 200,000 computers across a staggering 150 countries according to reports by the BBC, including many NHS hospitals and GP’s surgeries in the UK – with the figure potentially rising today as people turn on their computers as they return to work after the weekend.
The malware is spread by a worm virus, which once a machine becomes infected, allows it to spread across the network to other vulnerable computers by itself. Generally, other viruses rely on being spread via human intervention, where people are tricked into clicking a link or opening an attachment within an email.
In March, Microsoft became aware of a weakness within their Windows operating systems that could be exploited by viruses, and they reacted by releasing a security update to fix it. However, many users were yet to run the update, leaving them vulnerable to this particular attack.
How can car dealers and garages protect themselves?
• Take regular backups
• Ensure Windows updates are enabled to automatically download and apply
• Keep anti-virus software up to date
• Use a firewall to protect your network router
• Educate your staff on recognising suspect emails, if in doubt, don’t open the attachment or click the link.
The key thing here is the importance of backing up your files. If you have all your business data on a server in your business, and it suffers a hardware failure, you are in the same boat as a ransomware victim – but whatever KO’s your server or machine can be restored with minimum disruption.
Should you be infected with a ransomware virus, there is no guarantee your files will be released even if you do pay up – the only remedy is to have a backup of your files so you can wipe the infected machine and restore your files.
Dealer Management System (DMS) data
If you are using a DMS that is locally installed, or you are running an older non-hosted dealer management system, then you need to ensure you are taking backups at least daily, while also making sure that your business network and machines are secure by keeping them up to date.
All of Dragon2000’s customers using our Dealer Management System, DragonDMS, have their data hosted by the industry-leading provider on dedicated servers in their secure data centre, where we take care of data backups for dealers. All servers are kept up to date, with failover and backup processes in place, and all data is fully encrypted to modern technical standards and password protected.
We took the decision many years ago to include this within the services we provide at no extra charge, giving dealers peace of mind about their dealer management system data security.