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Auto Dealership Software Provider Acquires Security MSP

Expressway, the effect of car headlights. Low-poly construction of fine lines. Blue background.

The Reynolds & Reynolds Company, a provider of automobile dealership software, services and forms, has acquired security MSP Proton Dealership IT to strengthen its cybersecurity offerings.

This is technology M&A deal number 703 that MSSP Alert and sister site ChannelE2E have covered so far in 2022. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Reynolds & Reynolds President Chris Walsh explained the advantages of the acquisition:

“Proton and Reynolds are a great fit together due to Proton’s expertise and extremely high service level, and Reynolds’ knowledge, resources and ability to scale. The quality products and services Proton offers are an essential part of every automotive retailer’s plan. With the help of Proton’s products and services and Reynolds’ footprint and resources, dealers across the country now have the help they need to meet the IT and cybersecurity demands being put on them.”

Proton’s Focus on the Automotive Dealership Market

Proton Dealership IT offerings include cybersecurity, cyber incident response, employee awareness training, vulnerability assessments and security monitoring — to keep dealerships operating smoothly and efficiently, Reynolds & Reynolds started in news release.

Since its founding in 2014, Proton Dealership IT, headquartered in Morrisville, North Caroline, has expanded to over 400 auto-dealerships in 17 U.S. states, according to its LinkedIn profile.

Proton Dealership IT also provides automotive dealers the opportunity to outsource their IT department, including Security Operations Center, remote helpdesk and on-site support team. Proton’s analysts work as an extension of a dealership’s in-house team to understand their business and proactively respond to threats as they occur, Reynolds & Reynolds said.

FTC Deadline for Dealerships Looms

The acquisition comes as the compliance deadline for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Safeguards Rule Amendments approaches on December 9, 2022. Many of the amendments are focused on the implementation of IT infrastructure needs and cybersecurity programs, Reynolds & Reynolds said.

Reynolds & Reynolds, which is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio and has approximately 4,300 employees, notes that automotive dealerships are becoming a prime target for cyberattacks. In correlation, Proton Dealership IT has experience working with dealerships and the FBI on ransomware cases to recover data and restore business operations.

Proton Dealership IT founder Brad Holton explained the synergy with Reynolds & Reynolds:

“Every dealership is faced with threats to the security and confidentiality of personal information they collect. Ensuring dealerships have access to the best products and services they need in order to protect that data is essential. We take great pride in being able to offer the best option for them, and joining Reynolds gives us the opportunity to make our services available to every dealer that needs them.”

Jim Masters

Jim Masters is Managing Editor of MSSP Alert, and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. His career has spanned governmental and investigative reporting for daily newspapers in the Northwest Indiana Region and 16 years in a global internal communications role for a Fortune 500 professional services company. Additionally, he is co-owner of the Lake County Corn Dogs minor league baseball franchise, located in Crown Point, Indiana. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his own music, oil painting, biking, volleyball, golf and cheering on the Corn Dogs.