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Free Lessons From the WannaCry Global Ransomware Attack On Nissan

The largest global cyberattack the world has ever seen swept across 150 countries and hundreds of thousands of computers in May, affecting hospitals, government agencies, manufacturers – and the automotive industry.

Renault stopped productions at several European sites to prevent the spread of the attack, while Renault alliance partner Nissan's manufacturing plant in Sunderland, England, was also affected.

This was not a failure of the IT structure. Nissan – probably like most dealerships – has robust software and hardware. It was the employees who unwittingly invited the attackers into the network – just as untrained employees will do in your dealership.

Here are three free steps dealers can take to protect their networks:

  1. Send out a memo with paychecks or post a notice on your bulletin board that employees are required to do their part in keeping your network secure by scrutinizing emails before clicking links or downloading data.
  2. Before clicking any link employees should look closely at the sender's address. Is the domain exactly right or just similar?
  3. Tell employees that suspicious emails should be deleted or reported to managers.

Because dealerships handle non-public information (NPI) they are specially regulated to protect that customer data. Employees need to know that their cooperation is required to keep secure the data you collect.

Just because your data is stored in the cloud doesn't mean it's protected. If your employees can access the data, hackers can access it.

These are three suggestions to help you be more of a hard target than a sitting duck.