The Growing Risk of Car Hacking

by Duncan & Don Woodbury

Don and Duncan Woodbury, principle security experts for cybersecurity in the automotive industry, write about the risk of car hacking and how it’s time for an automotive cybersecurity wake-up call.  

Cybersecurity, within the context of the automotive industry, is the protection of communication networks, control systems, software, data, electronic systems, drivers, and other aspects of manufacturing from malicious and unauthorized accesses, manipulation, or exfiltration by bad actors. As vehicles become smarter and more connected, everything from safety systems to navigation and infotainment systems, even steering and brake controls become a risk that needs protection. Fact is, interconnected vehicles may be subject to the same cyber threats that typical IT networks and endpoints face. Automakers are equipping cars with connected devices faster than they can defend them from cyber risks, exacerbating the risks.  

Consumers need to be in the driver seat to combat these risks. There are products being developed, like GuardKnox’s Communication Lockdowntechnology, which delivers a threat-agnostic, determinist solution that thwarts safety-related attacks in real time. Car buyers can make choices based on the inclusion of such technologies.  

Another contribution to this sector can be found in the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Auto-ISAC), which has published its best practices for automakers and suppliers. The report states that “a future vehicle with zero risk is unobtainable and unrealistic,” but automakers and suppliers can assess risks, detect threats and manage responses.  

Focus on this field is growing. McKinsey & Company writes specifically about rethinking car software and electronic architecture. The key tenets of data privacy and anonymity must be safeguarded, and Symantec is exploring ways to build security into vehicles by leveraging modern cybersecurity technology.  

Read Duncan and Don Woodbury’s report on this growing threat environment and learn about a future in which auto industry cyber risks can be mitigated.  Click here to read the article.

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