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What Is Your Dealership Cyber Security Stance?

A dealership’s cyber security stance, or posture, is the current security status of all its hardware, software, services, information, networks, and service providers. This stance encompasses a wide variety of security measures, including data security, network security, penetration testing, vulnerability testing, training against cyber security attacks, vulnerability management, secure file transfers, data breach prevention, and more.

Jim Lawrence, Co-founder and COO of SDP joins us today to walk through how dealers can take steps to protect themselves from cyber security threats.

A dealership’s cyber security stance, or posture, is the current security status of all its hardware, software, services, information, networks, and service providers. This stance encompasses a wide variety of security measures, including data security, network security, penetration testing, vulnerability testing, training against cyber security attacks, vulnerability management, secure file transfers, data breach prevention, and more.

Obviously, the better a dealership’s cyber security stance, the better it can withstand the ever-increasing savvy of cybercriminals and cyber-attacks. These hackers are determined to install malware that results in ransomware threats and even steals the data that is so very valuable to your dealership’s brand and well-being and to that of its customers and trading partners, not to mention its reputation.

What Is Data Security?

In its broadest definition, data security is how dealerships identify and protect sensitive data to ensure it stays secure and controlled throughout the entire data security lifecycle. In a dealer group, data security should be approached as both a state of mind, and as a concrete collection of tactics and software solutions deployed to protect data throughout its journey.

Achieving and maintaining data security is a complex but vital mission of any IT operation especially under the new FTC Safeguards Rule ISP effective December 9, 2022 as untold volumes of a huge variety of data types and sizes are exchanged daily. This data often migrates in a hybrid IT environment and in many dealer groups, with a remote network access by employees and shared sensitive data with retail partners in play.

Fortunately, there are solutions designed to protect and control the data that is the lifeblood of most dealer groups from inception to its final destination or destruction. Assembling and layering an array of data security solutions can simplify and automate how dealer groups protect the valuable data entrusted to them as it travels in and out of its networks.

Robust data security is an expectation today. FTC Safeguards Rule ISP requirements, customers, vendors, and others have the right to expect dealer groups to handle their data properly, adhere to compliance standards, and to manage and control data whether it is at rest, in motion, or in use.

How Do Data Security Solutions Work to Boost Cyber Security?

The assorted data security solutions a dealer group assembles help IT teams and management know what type of data they have, where it is, how data is shared, and most importantly, who has access to it. The solutions should work together to deliver both visibility and security around data.

Data security tools or solutions can target the prevention of accidental or intentional unapproved access to data, as well as protect the data itself, not just the perimeter around it. Today, dealer groups can choose to deploy their data security solutions on-premises, in the cloud, or as SaaS options for more flexibility around their cyber security efforts.

Data Security Solutions from KPA/SDP

A dealer group can use layers of data security solutions as part of their Safeguards Rule ISP compliance program designed to ease and bolster their cyber security stance with the ultimate goal of helping to ensure data privacy, proper data handling, achieving and maintaining compliance, and control of data through all its stages.

KPA and its strategic partner Sensitive Data Protect LLC’s (SDP) data security solutions suite and information security program includes tools to help you understand and classify data needing protection, detect threats and prevent leaks, as well as solutions to help you secure and protect data at rest and in motion, wherever that data is (on-premises or in the cloud) and wherever it travels for end-to end-security.

Data Classification Helps Prioritize Data Needing Data Security Protection

Not all data needs elevated protection. However, organizations that must abide by compliance regulations under Safeguards Rule ISP and any dealer group that accepts payment cards in requirements from the PCI Security Council/Credit Card companies know that applying strong safeguards to data containing anything that could potentially be sensitive or personally identifiable at all stages is imperative to avoiding fines, censure, or data breaches.

Data classification sets the baseline for a solid data security strategy as it classifies, identifies, and prioritizes the data most in need of protection, including unstructured data like intellectual property. With one of SDP’s data classification solutions in place, you get the management and control of your data needed to help meet stringent compliance requirements and serve as a tool to help your users consider what information they are sending out. Data classification combines visual labels applied to data as well as labels applied to the file’s meta data for protection and control.

Encryption is Essential for Maintaining a Solid Cyber Security Stance

When data is encrypted for its protection at rest and in motion, your business-critical or sensitive information cannot be accessed or used in the wrong hands. If, despite all measures taken to prevent a breach, one occurs, encryption solutions limit how much of an impact a breach can actually have, as the data cannot be decrypted without an authorized key.

While encryption is a big headache for those who want to access your data without authorization, dealer groups maintaining and enhancing a robust cyber security program that includes encryption solutions that can easily be integrated with existing business technology and processes can gain peace-of-mind. Solutions that are easier to use are ones that actually get used.

Data Loss Prevention Delivers Visibility and Control

KPA-SDP/SentinelOne protects the endpoints across your entire dealer group network, as well as its cloud applications, to detect and block any threats to your sensitive data.

Secure and Manage File Transfers with MFT

Sending the thousands of files in and out of an organization while maintaining security, compliance, and data privacy requires a secure managed file transfer (MFT) solution. SDP’s MFT solutions can automate the file transfer processes through a centralized platform with built-in security and encryption protocols, auditing and reporting functionality, as well as full transparency on file status.

Maintain Control of Data Wherever it Travels with Rights Management

Once you have sent an encrypted file through a secure managed file transfer solution you trust it’s in good hands, right? Well, you might want to think again. Once unencrypted, a file sent, and the data contained in it, could land in the wrong hands. By applying SDP’s digital rights management (DRM) solution to your files you can secure, track, audit, and revoke access to your sensitive data, including Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and intellectual property.

Combining the simplicity and security of sending files with MFT with the continued protection secured with rights management is a good cyber security combination to ensure the files you send are controlled and protected wherever they may end up.

Email Security is Vital to Maintaining Data Security

With those convenient email inboxes constantly being filled, refilled and emptied, the risks of this handy tool being hit with cyber-attacks, spear phishing attempts, or malicious email threats are high. The good news is, SDP has the market leading  email security solution with Barracuda that can push back against cyber criminals trying to enter your system via email. Our SDP solutions can automatically redact, sanitize, delete, block, or monitor data according to your established policies to keep business processes flowing with non-flagged data continuing on its journey so a dealer group’s business does not grind to a halt. Our DMARC email authentication solution even helps protect your customers and retail partners from those email spoofs trying to pass themselves off as coming from you and your organization.

Need Ideas to Boost Your Cyber Security Stance?

KPA has partnered with a leader in the information security industry, SDP Compliance, to aid dealers in creating and supporting a cyber security system that addresses the concerns of the Safeguards Rule.

New data privacy regulations continue to expand across the country. There is increasing liability for dealers as well as an ever-growing need to protect and manage consumer and customer data. Noncompliance can be costly and dangerous, and dealers need a full-service cyber security system in place to navigate the ever-growing changes and regulations.

Have questions? Want to learn more? Contact us.

About The Author


KPA exists to help organizations be safe and compliant. We help organizations proactively identify risks, stay up-to-date on evolving regulations, and (most importantly) keep workers safe.

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