The March 2019 issue of Canadian AutoJournal is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Editor in chief of Canadian AutoJournal, Jack Kazmierski.
Beware the Power
The power of the Internet is a two-edged sword. While you can harness this power to expose your dealership to new customers and opportunities, the Internet can also leave your business exposed to those who would do you harm.
A couple of years ago I attended a conference where an IT guru explained how one of his clients, a dealer group, had been held hostage by someone who locked them out of their own computer systems, thereby bringing all the stores in the group to a grinding halt. They couldn’t access their data. They couldn’t write work orders in the service department. They couldn’t process sales. Nothing.
Eventually, they had no choice but to pay a ransom. It was the only way to regain access to their own computers and servers.
The truly frightening part of the whole story is how clever the hackers were. They managed to access the network through email simply by tricking someone within the dealership into clicking on something that looked innocuous but was not. They then took their time, shutting everything down when they decided they were ready to do so.
The moral of the story is simple: While you need the power of the Internet to do business, you also need to protect yourself from those who will use that same power to cripple your business.
Not gonna happen
I know I’m not the first one to point this out. Call me Captain Obvious, if you’d like. No doubt we’ve all heard about hackers, ransomware, and the damage suffered by countless individuals and businesses.
That said, I think some of us are still suffering from the “it’s not gonna happen to me” syndrome. We assume our staff is smart enough not to click on something they shouldn’t, that our backups are up-to-date and ready to go into action should a hacker gain access to our system, or that we’re simply not a target. But what if we’re wrong? What if your dealership is more vulnerable than you think?
We’re hoping this issue of Canadian AutoJournal can help you deal with the many challenges of doing business in our digital world.
Today’s technologies offer us possibilities that were once simply impossible. But making the most of these technologies, while protecting ourselves and our businesses from the worst out there, is quite the challenge. And while you can deal with many of these challenges yourself, some things are better left to experts you’ll need to hire for your store.
We hope we can shed some light on your digital path and help you determine how best to harness the power of technology, while limiting the possible harm.