WANADA Dealers Learn How to Avoid Cyber Crime During Member Webinar

Late last month, WANADA hosted a webinar designed to help member dealers identify and prevent possible cybersecurity breaches and other types of digital fraud, which can cost businesses and consumers as much as $50 billion annually. Over the past few years, and especially during the pandemic when online sales of new vehicles really became popular, there has been a noticeable increase in online hacks and attacks – both from sophisticated criminals and individuals in local communities.

Longtime FBI Special Agent John Iannarelli, known as “FBI John,” joined Equal-Systems CEO Bruce Bortle for a two-hour discussion designed to help dealers avoid being victims of these attacks. Many of these crimes, Iannarelli said, are classic crimes of opportunity, only in a digital space. According to Iannarelli, 2020 was the worst year on record for data thefts, with more than 7,000 security breaches identified  by law enforcement sources.

In the dealer space, more than 130 dealerships were victims of cyber attacks last year, exposing the data of more than 12.5 million customers. In nearly every instance, Iannarrelli said, hackers were able to reach this data because dealers failed to encrypt it effectively. According to both panelists, other successful attacks involved ransomware attacks, spear phishing attempts (where a recipient clicks a pernicious email link, often masked to look legitimate, and then grants a hacker access to their computer system), or simple employee sloppiness.

Bruce Bortle’s presentation focused on ways that employers can help prevent these worker security mishaps from occurring, while also highlighting important ways that businesses can improve their information technology security. WANADA members can view the presentations from this webinar, along with the full video of the event, by visiting the WANADA Member Portal at this link. If you have any questions about accessing the member portal, please contact Kathy Teich at kt@wanada.org.

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