Dealerships have deployed more software tools in the past year to help consumers buy vehicles online.
Yet while technology makes it faster and easier to transmit customers' information as dealerships look to improve car buying, employees who use the technology are a potential weak link when it comes to securing that data, according to information technology consultants who work with dealerships.
And, they say, a surge in cyberattacks during the pandemic means it's as important as ever for dealerships to be vigilant about monitoring their systems and training employees to spot suspicious activity.
To keep from falling prey to scammers — and potentially having customers' information hacked and leaked — dealerships should invest in upgraded computer systems and devices, and create visibility into their networks so they can identify potential threats, several IT consultants told Automotive News.
In addition, dealerships should ask about third-party vendors' security practices and policies when vetting software products before signing a contract with a new provider.
The pandemic accelerated dealerships' adoption of technology to enable digital deals. Some larger groups, including public retailers, have developed their own software tools in-house, while other dealership groups sought out products from outside companies.