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CDK Global Attack: How to protect your car dealership

June 27, 2024Victoria Savage

cdk global cyber attack

Cyber criminals are wreaking havoc on car dealerships across North America, as a popular software called CDK Global tries to recover from a ransomware attack. The attack has knocked out critical services for car dealerships, with no firm answer on when services will come back online.

Learn more about the attack as well as information on how to protect your company from similar attacks.

What is the CDK Global attack?

CDK Global is a SaaS platform that allows car dealerships to run daily operations like sales, financing, service, and more. In June of 2024, they were hit by a ransomware attack that immobilized all systems, impacting more that 15,000 car dealerships across North America.

While the CDK Global IT team was initially able to bring most systems back online, they were rapidly hit by a second cyber attack and taken down again.

How did the CDK Global attack happen?

It is still unknown how the ransomware attack occurred.

The BlackSuit ransomware gang has taken responsibility for the attack. They have demanded tens of millions of dollars to restore CDK Global’s systems, an amount that some reports say CDK Global is considering paying.

Who is the CDK Global attack affecting?

The CDK Global attack is affecting everyone from small car dealerships, to some of the largest names in car purchasing, including Sonic Automotive and Penske Automotive.

Dealerships are reporting that basic operations like finding cars to buy, applying for discounts, registering vehicles, and more have gone from taking minutes to hours if not days. Many dealerships are returning to pen and paper while they wait for systems to come back online.

Dealerships that do not use the CDK Global software are unaffected.

How to protect my car dealership from cyber attacks?

If you’re suffering from the CDK Global cyber attack, unfortunately there’s little you can do to manage those particular systems until they come back online.

The CDK Global attack isn’t the first hit against car dealerships, and unfortunately it won’t be the last.

There are many other considerations to keep in mind when protecting your car dealership from further cyber attacks.

Ensure Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) compliance

Did you know that car dealerships in the United States that offer financing must be compliant with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act?

This Act regulates any company or organization that provides financial services to its customers, including financing for car loans.

GLBA requires specific data collection and storage practices, including minimum cybersecurity practices for things like data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and access protocols.

By sticking to the requirements of GLBA, you can ensure your car dealership is both secure and compliant.

Consider cyber insurance

Many companies have turned to cyber insurance in recent years for additional protection when things go wrong. While insurance is a good reactive measure, it’s important to make sure preventative measures are in place to avoid needing to make a claim.

By improving your cybersecurity protocols, you can also qualify for more policies and get better rates.

When in doubt, secure privileged access

A good place to start with improving cybersecurity at your organization is by locking down privileged access.

Your privileged users, such as users with administrator or “root” privileges, hold the keys to your organization. Ensuring those keys don’t fall into the wrong hand can go a long way to securing your organization overall.

Ensure proper privileged access protocols are in place, including access to things like Remote services and Windows Logon, and that proper authentication requirements are in place to ensure only authorized users are accessing your organization’s key applications and services.

Secure your car dealership with MFA

One cybersecurity protocol that can’t be overlooked is implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA).

MFA is a proven tool to reduce account compromises by up to 99.99%. MFA is required for GLBA compliance, and is a minimum cybersecurity control for most cyber insurance policies.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive MFA solution that won’t slow your users down, start a free trial with LoginTC today.

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