Cybersecurity: Is Your Business Protected?

If you wonder whether you should be worried about the cybersecurity of your auto glass shop’s information, the answer is yes.

As chief operating officer of Don’s Mobile Glass in California, Dave Leach says he was concerned about cybersecurity and then in August the company’s system was hit by ransomware.

“They absolutely pillaged,” he says of the aggressive theft of the company’s digital information at seven stores, a factory and a corporate office. “We had what we thought was a good security system.”

The breach was discovered early on a Saturday morning, and, Leach says, within three long work days the company was back to functioning with phones and stores open again.

“Be prepared for when it happens, shut everything off and start over again,” he says of advice for other companies. If it can happen to Don’s Mobile Glass, it can happen to smaller and larger companies.

Leach says he suggests passwords are changed often, files are backed-up physically somewhere off-site and within a firewall, and security checks are performed constantly and regularly. He also recommends that employees are encouraged not to click on anything in emails from unknown senders, and if an employee finds something weird in an email, pick up the phone and call someone.

“You absolutely have to be protected, because the ramifications of not being protected are absolutely tremendous,” Leach says. He adds that large businesses are more vulnerable to cyberattack, “because you’re big enough to get on the radar.”

Leach says Don’s Mobile “got hit with something that was previously reserved for much larger servers.”

“The amount of headache and hell you’ll go through can only be mitigated by [having a backup system],” Leach says.

Leach says he “was really proud of our people,” when Don’s Mobile was digitally attacked. “It was one of the most catastrophic things I’ve ever seen,” he says.

“Very worried about it,” says Peter Brown, president of Tiny and Sons in Boston. Brown protects his employees and customer information with local support by System Support Corporation in Marshfield, Mass. Brown says that everything is on the Cloud, and the corporation’s system locks out potential hackers. “We’re pretty diligent with customer information,” Brown says.

Customer information includes names, addresses and phone numbers. Credit card numbers are not stored in Tiny and Sons’ computer system.

Brown says he is also concerned with third party administrators and where the information his company gives them may go. Tiny and Sons has a lot of high-end customers who driver Range Rovers and expensive vehicles. He has protected customer information with System Support Corporation for seven years.

Insurance is now available to protect auto glass shops from hacking. “We haven’t gotten into that yet, but that’s something we’re looking into,” Brown says. Insurance to protect against hacking is similar to car insurance protecting a driver in an auto accident, he says.

Brown says he is concerned about how to protect Cloud-based information against predators. Is his customer information safe on the Cloud?

Joe Demers operates a small shop in New Bedford, Mass. JD Glass Co. Inc. has been open since 1989. “I never really thought about security,” he says.

He is concerned, however, with the information that third party administrators gather from his shop, and whether that information is secure. If they were hacked, “then everybody has a problem in the whole country,” he says.  What would a small shop like JD Glass do about it? “If it happens, it happens,” Demers says.

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