ORLANDO, Fla. – Prior to COVID-19, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warned that cybersecurity risks may very well be the biggest threat to the nation’s financial system. They still are, and the auto finance industry is not immune. CDK Global's latest Dealership Cybersecurity Study revealed that 85% of dealerships surveyed were the victim of a cybersecurity incident in the past two years.
USEA is determined to meet our responsibility to dealership partners and AutoPayPlus customers to ensure we’re doing everything we can to defend and protect the company from cybersecurity threats now and in the future.
U.S. Equity Advantage (USEA) is confronting these threats head-on with the addition of rigorous enhancements to its cybersecurity protections. “Cybersecurity is the top technology priority for our organization,” said USEA Chief Technology Officer Jeff Saylor. “As cybercrime becomes more pervasive, it was imperative that we meet the challenge with more robust security measures and safeguards.”
USEA recently enhanced its cybersecurity policy to incorporate best practices in the areas of employee education and training, securing and monitoring network operations, and continuously auditing, testing and improving its procedures. This includes retaining a chief information security officer with financial services expertise to support USEA’s cyber security program to automate, secure, standardize and streamline the company’s data security requirements. USEA has also purchased a cyber insurance policy; a growing trend that can’t protect businesses from cybercrime, but can provide a financial backstop in the event of a cyber breach or ransomware attack.
Dealerships are a prime targets for cybercrimes because of the wealth of personal and financial information they handle. The F&I office especially vulnerable to hacking and data theft that can expose customers’ social security numbers and credit card information. For instance, last year cyber criminals gained access to an F&I employee's computer and downloaded 200 customer credit reports from a credit bureau. In another case, a cyber thief intercepted a $253,000 wire transfer between an auto retailer and another dealership.
“The DealerBuilt breach that impacted 130 dealerships and compromised the personal information of 12.5 million customers was a harsh wake-up call for our industry,” explained USEA CEO Robert Steenbergh. “Cybersecurity threats are growing stronger and more common every day. USEA is determined to meet our responsibility to dealership partners and AutoPayPlus customers to ensure we’re doing everything we can to defend and protect the company from cybersecurity threats now and in the future.”