May 08, 2018

5 Reasons Why Auto Dealerships Should Declutter Their Workplace Today

Clutter isn’t just unsightly for automobile dealers, it’s a huge security risk too.

The number of consumer complaints in the U.S. about auto loan and lease identity theft increased by a surprising 43% in 2017, according to the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book.

A recent survey showed that 68% of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) had one or more data breaches or security incidents in 2017.

5 Reasons to Prioritize Information Security & Declutter Auto Dealerships

Dealerships Collect Confidential Information

Car dealerships handle a lot of confidential and personal information including driver’s license information, credit card numbers, and Social Insurance/Security numbers  – and it's exactly the kind of data that information thieves want. Some of this data is still printed out on paper, which can pile up and cause clutter and ultimately increase the risk of a security breach. Declutter tip: Implement a Clean Desk Policy that directs employees to protect confidential information at all times... in the showroom, at their desks, at the front counter, and on the road.

Identity Thieves Target Auto Dealerships

Car loan and lease identity theft was the 6th most common identity theft complaint, with almost 10,000 complaints in the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. Declutter tip: Teach employees to recognize and protect all the confidential information they handle. Partner with a professional document destruction company so that a secure destruction process is embedded in the workplace.

Clutter Impacts Customer Opinion and Business Reputation 

A cluttered workplace sends a message of disorganization and sloppy business practices. That’s not a good message considering 3 out of 4 consumers make data and cyber security a prerequisite for their automotive purchasing decision, according to the 2018 Global Automotive Executive SurveyDeclutter tip: Clean out the showroom and offices of clutter regularly and remember that keeping legacy equipment and old files can increase the risk of a data breach as well.  

Dealerships are Open to the Public

Showrooms are generally open to the public making it easy for identity thieves  to get in. Plus, if the workplace is cluttered with loose documents and other information, it makes it even easier for a fraudster to simply walk by and steal data. Declutter tip: Teach employees to watch out for theft and use visible physical safeguards, including security cameras and locked tamper-proof consoles for paper documents that are no longer needed.

Dealerships Must Comply with Privacy Laws

Privacy laws and legislation direct how dealerships protect confidential information. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB Act), for example, protects personal financial information held by financial institutions (dealerships fall under this rule when they collect a customer’s financial information). Declutter tip: Establish processes that ensure understanding and compliance with regulations. A document management system will help manage retention requirements and filing. Digitize documents when possible, and securely destroy the paper versions.

While keeping the workplace tidy should be on-going, it’s helpful to organize a special Clean Up Day. In this case, arrange a ‘one-time, on-demand shred service’ for the secure destruction of accumulated documents. Once clutter is gone, there will be other benefits too, including improved productivity. Consider partnering with a professional shredding company for more regular destruction services. 


Start Protecting Your Business

Learn more about the risks your dealership may face and ways to keep it protected from a security breach.