CDK dealers share experience dealing with ongoing cyber event

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Updated Jul 2, 2024
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[Editor's note: On July 1, CDK Global announced it is continuing its phased approach to the restoration process and is rapidly bringing dealers live on its DMS. “We anticipate all dealers connections will be live by late Wednesday, July 3 or early morning Thursday, July 4. Our Customer Care channels have also been restored and customers can call, chat or submit eCases if they need assistance,” the company said. “We are also actively working on bringing other applications live, including our Customer Relationship Management (CRM), ONE-EIGHTY and Service solutions.”]

As more than 15,000 vehicle dealerships continue to wait for the resolution to last week’s cyberattack on CDK Global, dealers in the trucking sector have been scrambling to look for patchwork solutions to keep their businesses running at peak levels.

CDK announced its was investigating a cyber incident on June 19. The company stated, “erring on the side of caution, we proactively shut all systems down and executed extensive testing and consulted with external third-party experts.”

Initially, the company was able to restore its core dealer management system (DMS) and Digital Retailing solutions, only for an additional attack to occur later that day that “proactively shut down most of our systems.”

In a memo circulated to clients earlier this week, CDK stated it hopes to have its major applications online in “days and not weeks,” yet in another memo circulated Tuesday reported, “We do feel it is important to share that we do not believe that we will be able to get all dealers live prior to June 30.”

The company also reported to Trucks, Parts, Service Wednesday that since uncovering the attack on June 19, it promptly launched an investigation “with leading third-party experts and notified law enforcement. We have begun the restoration process and are continuing to actively engage with our customers and provide them with alternate ways to conduct business.”

In the automotive sector, CDK’s response has come under fire. In the trucking space, dealers have turned their attention inward, implementing their own independent backup plans to remain operational.

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[RELATED: CDK hit with cyberattack; dealer systems shut down]

In a message to TPS, Premier Truck Group states it was made aware of CDK’s cybersecurity on June 19 and “immediately took precautionary containment steps to protect our systems and commenced an investigation of the incident, which efforts are ongoing.

The company states it has implemented its business continuity response plans and “continues to operate at all locations through manual or alternate processes developed to respond to such incidents.”

Winner of the 2023 Successful Dealer Award, Premier Truck Group operates 48 dealer locations across the United States and Canada.

Other dealers have been forced to activate similar strategies. TLG Peterbilt, which operates more than two dozen locations across the Southeast and Midwest, told TPS it has “implemented its business continuity response plans and continues to operate through manual processes developed to response to such incidents. All TLG dealership locations are open and fully operational. TLG is in communication with the CDK team.”

The company adds, “We have requested details from CDK to understand the full scope of the incident and how long certain business operations may be interrupted. TLG remains committed to providing the highest level of service and support to our customers, vendors and business partners as we navigate this incident with CDK and will provide additional updates as we gather more information about the incident from CDK.”

CDK noted key progress was made toward a return to normal late Wednesday. 

“We have successfully brought a small initial test group of dealers live on the DMS, and once validation is complete, we will begin phasing in other dealers. We are also actively working to bring live additional applications — including our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Service solutions — and our Customer Care channels.

The company added, ”In the meantime, we have created a Dealer Resource Center with commonly used documents and forms to support their sales and service efforts. We understand and share the urgency for our customers to get back to business as usual, and we will continue providing updates as more information is available.”

Another dealer still waiting to return to normal operations added, “Our dealership has been forced to revert to manual processes for truck sales, parts, and service operations. This shift means it will likely take weeks, or even longer, to input all the necessary data into our dealer business system once CDK is back up and functional.

“Currently, our accounts payable team cannot use the CDK check issuing system to pay suppliers, while our accounts receivable team is manually collecting payments for parts sales. We’ve had to revert to pen and paper and spreadsheets to track sold parts, and we rely on our data backups to accurately price parts. Our online parts counter is unable to communicate with CDK, and our third-party dashboard software cannot update sales numbers, complicating payroll for our commissioned parts sales representatives.”

Finally, it adds, “In the service department, we cannot close repair orders or provide detailed information on completed service work to our customers. Additionally, our truck sales team is unable to book truck sales through CDK Sales Overdrive. The impact of this breach on our operations is significant, and we greatly appreciate the patience and understanding we’ve seen from our customers as we navigate these challenges.”

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