The reliance on technology for everyday business operations is undeniable in 2024. This reliance, however, brings with it significant risks. Recently, a major cyber incident at CDK Global, a leading provider of integrated data and technology solutions to the automotive industry, proved the vulnerability of even the most robust systems. This incident caused a substantial outage affecting nearly 15,000 car dealerships across North America, disrupting operations, and highlighting the critical importance of cybersecurity.

In late June 2024, a cyber-attack led to widespread service outages. The disruption impacted the company’s Dealer Management Systems (DMS), a suite of applications integral to dealership operations, including inventory management, sales, service, and finance. The attack rendered these systems inaccessible, leaving dealerships unable to perform essential functions and stalling business operations.

The immediate consequences of the outage were profound:

  • Operational Disruption: Dealerships were unable to access critical data or complete transactions, leading to significant delays and customer dissatisfaction.
  • Financial Loss: The inability to conduct sales and service operations resulted in substantial financial losses. For many dealerships, this meant a complete stop in revenue generation.
  • Customer Trust: The outage swayed customer trust as dealerships struggled to provide expected services, impacting their reputation and customer relationships.

The CDK cyber incident not only implicated the entire automotive industry, but this also brought notice to the automotive supply chain and the vulnerabilities within itself. The disruption highlighted the interconnectedness of the automotive supply chain and all the factors it takes to operate. Many dealerships rely on a few major technology providers, making the entire sector vulnerable to such attacks.

In the wake of the incident, several lessons can be drawn. First being, it is necessary to have proactive cybersecurity measures. Dealerships must adopt a proactive approach to cybersecurity, including regular risk assessments, employee training, and investing in advanced security technologies.

Another necessary measure is having incident response planning. Having a robust incident response plan is crucial. Dealerships should ensure they have a well-defined strategy for dealing with cyber incidents to minimize downtime and financial losses.

Lastly, collaboration and communication. Effective communication and collaboration with technology providers like CDK Global, Managed Service Providers, or IT staff/professionals are essential. Dealerships should work closely with their providers to ensure timely updates and support during day-to-day function and especially during incidents.

The CDK Global cyber incident serves as a wake-up call for the automotive industry. It highlights the critical importance of cybersecurity and the need for preparedness in the face of growing cyber threats. By adopting proactive cybersecurity measures, fostering strong partnerships with technology providers, and having robust incident response plans, dealerships can better protect themselves and ensure continuity of operations in the digital age.


As the industry navigates the aftermath of this incident, it is clear that cybersecurity will remain a top priority. For any questions on your current IT landscape and cyber protection at your dealership, feel free to reach out to us at



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