Stay safe out there! In today’s digital age, cyberattacks and data breaches pose significant threats to businesses, and automotive dealerships are no exception. These establishments collect and store sensitive information like social security numbers, credit scores, and driver’s license numbers. Consequently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has introduced the Safeguards Rule to mandate that dealerships implement robust security measures to safeguard customer data against cyber threats.
The Safeguards Rule Applicable To Car Dealerships
The Safeguards Rule applies to car dealerships with information of at least 5,000 individuals, whether in physical or digital form, on a salesperson’s cell phone, or a combination. Its primary objective is to ensure that dealerships have strong security safeguards in place to protect customer data from cyberattacks and other threats. Failure to comply with the rule may attract penalties of up to $46,000 per day, underscoring the importance of adherence for dealerships to safeguard their business and customers.
Complying With The Safeguards Rule
To comply with the Safeguards Rule, car dealerships must establish, implement, and maintain a written Information Security Program tailored to their size, complexity, and the nature of information they collect. Safeguards may include designating an employee or employees to coordinate the dealership’s information security program, conducting risk assessments to identify potential internal and external risks to the security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information, implementing safeguards to control the identified risks, and regularly monitoring and testing the effectiveness of the safeguards.
Ensuring Compliance With the Safeguards Rule
To ensure compliance with the Safeguards Rule, dealerships must take several critical steps, including designating an employee or employees with the knowledge and authority to implement and maintain the program, conducting a comprehensive risk assessment, implementing appropriate safeguards to control risks identified in the risk assessment, regularly monitoring and testing the effectiveness of the safeguards, and overseeing service providers to ensure that they implement appropriate safeguards to protect customer information.