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Protecting the car of the future

A recent study found 31% of leading automakers, investors and technology companies say cybersecurity concerns are the biggest obstacle to the growth of connected cars. Cyberhacking of the connected car has even made it to plot lines of blockbuster movies, like the most recent The Fast and the Furious film. Yet, many consumers don’t have an understanding of the severity that cybersecurity threats pose and what goes into protecting the connected car from attacks, nor the solutions necessary to address this challenge.

With a quarter billion connected vehicles expected to be on the road by 2020, one might ask — how can automakers continue to meet the security demands and protect the connected vehicle of the future?

Protecting driverless cars against cyberattacks can be a complex and difficult task, especially as the proliferation of data across different systems and devices makes the car more vulnerable than ever before. However, there are companies leading the way to protecting the car of the future and here is how they are going about it:

Industry leaders are enabling technology to secure the connected car. In order to keep connected cars protected against cybersecurity attacks such as ransomware hacks, companies are creating integrated systems that deliver complete visibility, detection and mitigation capabilities. These security technologies, such as sensor spoofing technology, protect the whole car, from inside to outside. As autonomous vehicles are becoming more real, influencing our industry, from OEMs to Silicon Valley companies and all the way up to The Hill, we must remember that cybersecurity and privacy should be an essential part of the design and development of such vehicles.

Securing the IoT network as whole, from connected vehicles to home devices and cloud technologies, is another way that companies are securing the autonomous vehicle. When thinking about cybersecurity, one cannot just think about a specific device — if the car can communicate with a city-wide IoT network and a traffic light (V2X technology) or with other vehicles (V2V technology), then those “external” networks must be secure as well. It is important the security protocols and regulations be considered when developing new connected products no matter what industry the products will be sold in. Additionally, when securing the connected vehicle, companies have been working on technologies that mitigate and detect cyberattacks from both the vehicle’s internal network and external threats.

Household name technology companies are bringing together cybersecurity partners to keep the connected autonomous car protected. Over the last year, the automotive cybersecurity space has transitioned to a new level of maturity and it has become evident that protecting the connected vehicle needs to be a collaborative effort. In the U.S. for example, the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Auto-ISAC) organization was formed in 2015 by OEMs, with top Tier 1 companies, including Harman, joining in 2016, to work proactively on implementing security features into every stage of the manufacturing process as well as to share information on emerging issues. The Society for Automotive Engineering (SAE) has been working on drafting cybersecurity best practices and standards, such as this guidebook published last year, and similar organizations are working in Europe and Japan. The vision for that collaborative effort is definitely becoming a reality.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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