Dealers who participated in last week’s trip to the digital security dentist now have their security health check-up done for the year. However, there are advanced digital security measures of which every dealership should be aware to secure their information from advanced identity theft hackers.
Be wary of BYOD.
You can control the protocols of your business’s electronics and access points, but you can’t always enforce the same standards on your employees’ personal devices.
The more gadgets and computers an employee must use increases the risk of misplacement. Plus, the more access points your IT personnel need to secure, the more inherently insecure your system becomes. (“You’re only as strong as your weakest link,” indeed.)
There are ways to adequately secure employee devices for business use, if you truly want to try a secure version of BYOD at your dealership.
- Mobile Device Management: An application “client” is installed on the employee’s device. It then automatically enforces security protocols like password strength and blacklisting questionable apps, and can even remotely wipe a phone of all information during emergencies.
- Containerization: Another client is installed to separate an employee’s “work” applications from “personal” ones. So, if a threat is detected from a text message or a wonky personal email address, it won’t affect the business email account.
- Virtualization: Still another type of client is installed to create a “pretend” virtual device on the phone, separated by a password and other security protocols. An employee could then use their phone as a personal device, then switch over to the business mode with its own set of applications and functionality. In this situation, an employee could have two versions of Facebook installed: One to a personal account, and one managing the company’s page.
These types of applications all vary in terms of price and commitment. We don’t necessarily recommend one of these services over another. We trust that you’re smart enough that you and your IT specialists can decide what’s best for your business, based on its unique needs and employee culture.
Ensure your databases reside in frequently updated servers.
Whether you store your customer information “in the cloud” online or on a self-hosted server hardware system, the server holding that information should be frequently updated with the latest and greatest bug fixes around.
If you’re truly concerned with the security of your digital customer data, it may be worthwhile to invest in a dedicated server. As its name implies, a dedicated server dedicates all its resources to your company’s data needs—unlike the less expensive and more common shared hosting server, where several organizations may be using the same server’s processing.
That way, you can immediately update hardware and software with the latest patches without relying on someone else’s update timetable. Also, you won’t have to worry about the security practices of another company possibly eroding your own data security, since you’ll be the only business interacting with your dedicated server.
All of this helps insulate your digital information banks. However, many dealerships still handle paper copies of important financial forms, which require protection, as well. We’ll review how to safely downsize and protect your dealership’s paper information horde. Subscribe if you want to receive the next article as soon as it comes out!