On Sept.18, ASA hosted the newest installment of the association’s monthly Webinar Wednesday series featuring Tekmetric CEO Sunil Patel who presented “Cybersecurity 101 for Shop Owners.”
Attendees were welcomed by ASA Vice President Tony Molla who introduced the webinar’s presenter and explained that the webinar was designed to teach the basics of shop’s internet security, firewalls and how to protect data, as well as to explore best practices involved in securing your network and the differences between cloud-based and locally-installed shop management systems. Attendees also learned about the most common security holes that currently exist in collision repair and automotive shops and what can be done to protect against them.
Molla introduced Patel who began by explaining, “Cybersecurity is a newer buzzword, and one of the hardest things for people to grasp is that cybersecurity is not tangible; it’s security that you can’t see or feel or touch. It’s a matter of protecting yourself against the criminal or unauthorized use of electronic data or the measures taken to achieve this. Security is one of the utmost things we’ve created in our software.”
Some people argue that the threat to cybersecurity has been somewhat inflated, and Patel concurred that most individual single shop operators probably have little to worry about because they don’t have enough data that is marketable on the black market. He said, “We’re not a major target for these hackers, but we still need to be careful with the changes in technology.”
Patel began his presentation by defining some technological terms. He compared the IP address to a shop’s physical address and ports to a shop’s windows, noting this is where information is transferred. He also explained that firewalls are used to protect the user’s internet and devices, defining it as “the guardian or gatekeeper that allows traffic between your network and the internet.”
After briefly describing some notable security attacks in 2019, including Lake City, FL’s, payment of $460,000 after a ransomware attack and the attack against 30,000 computers in the Atlanta Police Department, Patel answered the most pressing cybersecurity question: why?