CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. — Cybercrime is on the rise, and dealerships run the same risks as do national merchandisers struck by hackers in recent months. Automotive Compliance Consultants and cyber-security partner Nuspire Networks will discuss dealership security with dealers at NADA Convention and Expo (Booth No. 3318N), which is scheduled for Jan. 23-25 in San Francisco.

The firm said it believes dealers aren't taking the risk of cybercrime seriously, pointing to a survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance. It showed that 30% of small- to medium-sized business owners surveyed believe they are more likely to be struck in the chest by lightning before their computer systems fall victim to an Internet attack.

“Nuspire Networks reports that network gateways and computer ports are pinged for unauthorized access in increasing frequency. Off-the-shelf virus and malware software are a useful first step, but usually not sophisticated enough for today’s hackers,” said Terry Dortch, president of Automotive Compliance Consultants. “No dealer wants the cost and embarrassment a data breach can create, and because the risk is ever-increasing, we urge dealers to get informed and know their protection options before a breach happens and they have to learn the very hard way.”

Dortch added that third-party access to the dealer management system data are making dealership networks increasingly active targets for cyber criminals.