Evaluating Your Network Security in. 3 Simple Steps

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1 Evaluating Your Network Security in 3 Simple Steps

2 Evaluating Your Network Security in Three Simple Steps Mark Dante, Product Program Manager Network/Security Every day, automotive dealerships depend on their IT networks to manage their day-to-day business. From supporting the dealer management system and internet protocol (IP) phones to ing customers and prospects, a dealership s network is truly at the heart of its business. But many of today s dealerships don t take the necessary steps to protect the network from security threats like Trojan horses, phishing scams, and keyloggers. Why? Because, much like an insurance policy, it s difficult to see the return on investment you get from network security protections. In fact, many dealerships view these protections as costs. Unfortunately for these dealerships, by the time they ve noticed that there s a network security problem, it s too late. And fixing security issues is a costly, involved process. In some cases, solving the problem can involve reimaging of computers or replacing damaged parts not terrible in the grand scheme of things. In cases where dealership data has been affected by the security threat, the dealership can face fines. The worst case I ve heard about involved a dealership with a keylogger installed on its system. The person responsible for this keylogger was able to track when and how employees made financial wire transfers. Using that information, the person was able to intercept the transfer and redirect the funds to a different bank account to the tune of nearly $1 million. Today, when people ask me about network security, they re concerned about three key areas: 1) Inappropriate activity That is, what are people looking at on the Internet? 2) Productivity Are people working, or are they shopping, gambling, or catching up on sports? 3) Bandwidth Is my Internet speed fast enough? Do I need more? Using these questions as our guide, we can help you evaluate your network security with the following three simple steps. The three key areas of network security concern: Inappropriate activity Productivity Bandwidth 2

3 1 Acceptable Internet Use Policy One of the first questions we get from people about Internet security is simple: What are people looking at on the Internet? We often answer the question with question: Does your dealership have an acceptable Internet use policy? These questions are crucial because one of the best ways of preventing network security problems is to make sure people do not and cannot visit inappropriate websites, opening your network s door to viruses, malware, keyloggers, and other security threats. If your dealership doesn t have an acceptable Internet use policy, the only thing preventing people from visiting inappropriate sites is their conscience. After creating an acceptable use policy and having your employees commit to it, the next thing your dealership can do is to implement an Internet manager solution that sets up parameters for employees Internet access and controls sites they re allowed to visit. With this type of network security solution in place, it s much easier for your dealership to prevent people from visiting inappropriate websites and picking up malicious codes. 3 Bandwidth If you have noticed times of day when your network and Internet performances are slow or sluggish, you are experiencing problems with your bandwidth. Many dealerships solve that problem by adding bandwidth, rather than solving the real problem. Bandwidth issues are often caused by music and video downloads or streaming, malware, and spam, among other activities or malicious codes. Internet manager solutions can resolve these problems without adding bandwidth to your dealership. To take monitoring a step further, network security solutions are available to proactively monitor network traffic with Security Event and Incident Management (SEIM). SEIM offers real-time monitoring of live data, recognizes issues immediately, and alerts the dealership to the problem. In addition to optimizing bandwidth, SEIM also helps dealerships with their compliance efforts. 2 Employee Productivity A second key concern for any dealership is the concept of employee productivity. What are people doing on company time? What websites are they visiting? Are people working, or shopping? Gambling? Catching up on sports? These questions can all be answered by the inclusion of an Internet manager solution one that allows access to business-related sites, but prevents people from taking care of personal business during work hours. Internet manager solutions not only help keep employee productivity high, they also contribute to network security protection by preventing viruses and other malware from invading your network. 3

4 Selecting a Network Security Partner Using these three simple points, you can begin evaluating your network security effectiveness. To help you further, we have developed a short questionnaire to help you determine where you might benefit from additional levels of protection. Knowing you need additional levels of protection is one step; but how do you select a network security partner? Your choices are seemingly endless. But because auto dealerships rely so heavily on their networks to run their businesses, there are several key criteria you should consider when selecting a network security partner: In-depth auto dealership experience any network security provider helping an automotive dealership ought to have extensive, in-depth experience in designing, deploying, and supporting auto dealers networks not grocery stores, dentist offices, or movie theaters. Partners with extensive automotive retail experience will fully understand what challenges dealerships face, how to solve those specific issues, and how to prepare for the changing auto retail landscape. Close alignment with automotive manufacturers when a network security partner works closely with automotive manufacturers, the partner can help dealerships meet OEM requirements. These partners will know exactly what OEMs look for in terms of network security, and can help dealerships comply with those needs. There s no guesswork, scrambling, or wasted investments. Robust network security support team the right network security partner will have a robust, comprehensive team of network security engineers and specialists who can design, deploy, and support the network you rely on to sell cars, parts, and service. Additionally, these partners will be certified by Cisco, Microsoft, and other technology partners to the highest possible degree giving your dealership access to a wealth of knowledge and competitive pricing arrangements. Single team supporting all technology solutions today s dealerships don t have the time or resources to manage multiple vendors for many different solutions. A single dealership technology partner gives dealerships one throat to choke ; that is, if a support situation arises, a single vendor means a single phone call no running around trying to determine who s responsible for what. In today s environment, security of your network can t be overlooked. Pressures from your OEM, compliance regulations from your local and national government, and the concerns of an Internet attack or data theft leave dealers wondering if they are taking the right measures. Selecting the right network security partner is a business-critical decision, but one that s easily made with the right information at your fingertips. 4

5 About ADP Since its inception in 1973, ADP Dealer Services has grown to provide integrated business and technology solutions to nearly 29,000 automotive, truck, motorcycle, agricultural, heavy equipment, marine, and recreational vehicle dealers. We currently serve more than 95 countries worldwide. Through close collaboration and local market expertise, ADP is dedicated to helping dealers and manufacturers drive measurable results across the business with innovative, user-focused solutions. We are a subsidiary of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADP), one of the world s largest providers of business solutions. ADP, Inc. is one of only four non-financial publicly traded U.S. companies that have an AAA credit rating. 5

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