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5 Tips to Help Defend Your Dealership Against Ransomware

Article Highlights:

  • Hackers are impersonating everyone from family members to the IRS.
  • 47 percent of businesses have been affected by ransomware.

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued a warning to be on the lookout for an email scam impersonating their bureau. The email includes the IRS’s logo, and tries to persuade the user to complete a downloadable questionnaire. If the link is clicked, ransomware will be released into the computer. The owner will then be locked out of their files and forced to pay the hackers to regain access.

Below is a copy of the popular scam:

IRS ransomware

Ransomware is an increasing threat to dealerships and businesses alike. According to a recent report by the FBI, 47 percent of businesses have been affected by ransomware.

It’s no longer a question of “what if” your dealership is attacked, but “when.”

What if your dealership is the next target?

Below are a few tips you can follow to help protect your dealership:

1. Implement a Monitored Firewall

A monitored firewall is a defense mechanism that provides intrusion detection and prevention. Your system won’t be alone in fighting off cyber attacks. If there’s a problem, you will have someone watching and defending your system.

2. Use Web Content Filtering

No employee is perfect. Some may use the internet to listen to music or read news articles. Using the dealership’s internet for personal business can lead to ransomware infecting your software.  With web content filtering, you can choose what pages employees are allowed to view while on the job.

3. Back Up Your Data Daily

Ransomware attackers are looking to hold important files hostage. If you are infected but have a remote backup tape, then the hackers will have nothing of value. You can have your computer disinfected and use the back-ups to carry on business as usual.

4. Use Caution When Opening Emails

If you receive an unexpected email, wait to open it. Verify from the sender you were supposed to receive a message. Hackers know how to impersonate your contacts when sending malicious code.

5. Research Suspicious Information

Any email or message telling you to “act now, or else” may be harmful to your computer. If you receive an email from, for example, the IRS, do your own research before following the instructions provided. Search the name of the company in a new browser and use the phone number or contact information you find. Don’t trust the information provided in the email.

Suspicious emails could cost your dealership hundreds of thousands of dollars. Make sure you are prepared to protect your dealership’s most valuable asset – its data.

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MariKyle was a Product Planning Manager at Reynolds and Reynolds for Networking, Document Archiving Solutions, and Name File Services. MariKyle, a graduate of the University of Dayton and Wright State University, was with Reynolds for over eight years and held various positions in the Product Planning department.

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