Auto dealerships handle a myriad of documents that contain customers’ personal data, extensive vehicle records, transaction histories, and much more. Therefore, auto dealerships should have stringent security protocols in place to protect such sensitive data. Data has to be protected from potential breaches originating from external cyber criminals and even internally from employees with malicious intent.
Implementing a robust document-management system combined with tighter security standards can help auto dealerships ensure the highest levels of data protection.
Security Benefits of a Document-Management Solution
Document-management systems are best known for capturing, digitizing, and organizing documents in order to help companies eliminate paper-based workflows, automate tasks, manage content lifecycles, and better govern records. A strong document-management solution can also provide numerous security benefits:
Controlled Document Sharing: With a document management system in place, you can easily store and share digitized documents. The system also enables you to control access to information. Unlike paper documents, scanned files can be accessed by everyone. You can protect sensitive data by authorizing only specific users to access and share the documents among themselves.
Limited File Access: Advanced features like password protection and multifactor access can enable you to control access at both document and folder levels. Not all employees need to have access to all information. You can grant access to users on a “need-to-know” basis. Even the time period for accessing the document can be controlled. Not just that, you can also view an audit trail to track who accessed a file, at what time, and whether it was downloaded, edited or distributed.
Better Regulatory Compliance: Running a successful auto dealership also means staying on the right side of regulatory compliance. A dealership needs to have all audit records and reports readily available in order to meet various standards set by the government and local authorities. Not to mention, dealerships need to have their records in place in case they face any kind of lawsuits. Using a document-management solution makes it convenient to catalog and retrieve all your company and dealer records that might be needed in the event of an audit.
No Lost Documents: One of the most significant advantages of using a document-management system is the elimination of piles of paper-based files. They not only waste your employees’ time when they are trying to track down old data but also put valuable information at risk of being misplaced or lost. With a secure document-management system, all your files are indexed and stored in a way that makes retrieval really convenient. You can use keywords, phrases or even simple text searches to track a particular document within a few clicks.
Be Picky About Your Document-Management Partner
For all the security advantages involved with implementing document-management technology, you should be aware that not all solution providers employ the highest levels of security that an auto dealership requires.
Below are 14 key security measures that an auto dealership should look for in a document-management partner:
- Security of Data Centers and Computer Rooms: Physical security for data centers and computer rooms is established commensurate with possible threats.
- Media Handling and Security: Computer media is controlled and physically protected to prevent damage to assets and interruptions to business activities.
- Protection from Malicious Software: Precautions are taken to prevent and detect the introduction of malicious software to safeguard the integrity of software and data.
- Virus Controls: Virus-detection and -prevention measures and appropriate user-awareness procedures have been implemented.
- Network Security Controls: Appropriate controls ensure the security of data in networks and the protection of connected services from unauthorized access.
- 256-Bit Encryption: Data stored on the file server uses 256-bit encryption.
- Secure Transmission: All communication is delivered using industry-standard TLS 1.2
- Access Controls: User access to files is strictly granted on a permissions basis where administrators can quickly make changes.
- Active Directory Integration: You can manage users from Active Directory, ensuring you only need one user store.
- Data-Handling Procedures: Procedures exist for handling sensitive data to protect information from unauthorized disclosure or misuse, both when onsite and in transit.
- Operational Procedures and Responsibilities: Responsibilities and procedures are established for the management and operation of all computers and networks.
- Documented Operating Procedures: Operating procedures are clearly documented for all operational computer systems to ensure their correct, secure function.
- Incident-Management Procedures: Incident management responsibilities and procedures are in place to ensure a quick, effective, and orderly response to security issues.
- Data Back-Up: Documented procedures are established for taking regular back-up copies of essential business data and software to ensure that it can be recovered following a computer disaster or media failure.
Certifications Matter Too
Certifications are not easy to obtain. An enormous amount of effort, knowledge and expense is involved in order to achieve and maintain the certifications that matter in document management. Auto dealerships should expect their document-management solution provider to maintain these certifications, at a minimum:
Document-management providers should show their commitment to secure processing and protection of information by completing the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) program. Through the PCI DSS Program, several security and policy requirements must be addressed including access to data, firewall integrity, encryption of stored data, physical security and a wide range of business, human resources, and policy issues. Annual audits by Qualified Secured Assessors ensure compliance with the security and policy requirements of the PCI program.
SOC 2 Type II
Annual audits ensure that document-management providers have the policies and processes in place to ensure the operating effectiveness of validated and tested controls. A SOC-certified organization has been audited by an independent certified public accountant who determined the firm has the appropriate SOC safeguard procedures in place. It requires companies to establish and follow strict information security policies and procedures encompassing the security availability, processing, integrity, and confidentiality of customer data.
A robust document-management solution for an auto dealership cannot only simplify day-to-day activities, but also make sure that data is fully protected. So, invest in a well-vetted document-managed partner today.
About the Author
Michelle Grondin has 26 years of marketing and sales experience. As DealerDOCX’s Director of Sales, she leads sales and marketing efforts including business-development, onboarding accounts, and consulting on intelligent document management and business process automation. Grondin has spent seven-plus years in the automotive industry.