Whether it’s managing your vehicle inventory, sales, parts or financing, your dealer management IT system is likely to be integral to your day-to-day motor trade operation. The ease of processing and continued improvement of IT platforms can greatly improve your customer services levels; however, the volume of data can lead to a heightened security threat.
Why Is Data Valuable?
Customers personal data can be extremely valuable to hackers and cyber criminals, be it financial information, or other sensitive data such as dates of birth. As a business, you have a legal duty of care to secure and protect all of your customers’ personal information.
Failure to protect sensitive data can result in prosecution and fines from the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) for breach of the Data Protection Act 1998, as such, it is important that you evaluate the security of your dealer management system and take the appropriate action to keep your customer data safe.
Why Do Car Dealers Need Data Security?
Because you and your team use data as part of almost every task, staff may not always realise the value of the information that your IT system holds. The key benefit of dealer or customer management systems is that they are all-encompassing, providing the simplicity of one main resource for all of your customer and company information in one single portal.
Most Motor Trade businesses will use their IT system to manage inventory and vehicle stock, put in orders to suppliers, manage payroll, calculate sales and even process vehicle finance agreements for customers.
A data breach could mean the loss of important company data, such as payroll, tax and sales information, and also customer personal and financial information.
Impact of a Breach
Should you suffer a data breach or hacker attack, not only will your garage or dealership suffer significant public relations damage, impacted customers may also hold you liable for damages suffered, be it financial or emotional. If multiple customers are impacted a class action could run into tens, or even hundreds of thousands of pounds, potentially putting your entire business at risk.
Your standard Motor Trade Insurance policy will not generally extend to cover data breach or cybercrime. To protect your business against these risks, you can arrange specialist Data Breach and Cyber Liability Insurance.
Cyber Insurance cover can provide:
- Support in managing the whole data breach process including PR & media response
- Contacting impacting customers to minimise their loss
- Dealing with any regulatory issues – including PCI (Payment Card Industry) investigation and / or fines
- Compensation cover to impacted customers
- Business Interruption following loss of web access or payment portals
How To Protect Your System
To prevent the high costs of a data breach, it is important that you develop a written security plan that outlines how you will protect customer information as well as how you will notify affected parties in the event of a breach.
Your data security plan should include ongoing evaluation of the security of your system. It is normally recommended that you assign these duties to a single contact (or team) who can take ownership of the plan, keeping your security initiative on track for long-term success.
A key security feature to use is a firewall designed specifically to prevent any unauthorised access from outside of your network. However, be aware that technology is constantly changing as data thieves become more resourceful in bypassing new security measures or using third party systems to bypass standard firewalls.
Best practice is to engage an independent IT specialist to undertake a review of your security features on a regular basis.
FREE Business Insurance Review
Insync specialises in all areas of cover for the motor industry. We can Compare Motor Trade Insurance from the UK’s leading insurers, including AXA, Allianz, Aviva, LV= and NIG to ensure you find the right cover at the right price.
Why not arrange a free review with one of our expert Gurus, who can assess your risk and evaluate any gaps in your current cover, including arranging Data Breach and Cyber Insurance cover.