BI Intelligence predicts that by 2020 there would be 10 million connected cars with self-driving features on the road and Gartner forecasts that there will be 250+ million smart cars connected to high-tech networks sharing the road with them, this only calls for a higher level for cybersecurity.

Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting a webinar to discuss the different approaches to providing robust cybersecurity solutions featuring Yuval Weisglass, Vice President, Automotive Cybersecurity, HARMAN, and Colin Bird, Sr. Analyst, Automotive Software, Apps and services, HIS Markit. 
If you missed the webinar, we welcome you to check out the recording of the session here
During the first session of our ‘A Perspective on Automotive Cybersecurity’ webinar series, Yuval gave a brief description of how to handle cybersecurity differently. He talked about the growth of connected cars, from the first computerized vehicles and introduction of long-range communication to automotive Electronic Control Units (ECU) and the rise in potential cyber-physical threats.
A question that he posed was, “if we could roll back to the initial days of designing cars what would have we done differently for us to be able to lead from the edge?” Yuval said that identifying potential risks within disparate systems first and then designing a cybersecurity concept around the identified data risks will help in mitigating those risks and building better autonomous cars.
To derive at the risk factor, it is essential to know what the threats are, what will it impact, and, what is the likelihood of these two actually happening at some point? Having the answers to these questions would furnish a comprehensive view of the threats that would compromise a system.
Yuval continued and points to another challenge, which is identifying the gap between problems and actually finding solutions for it. For example, OEM's integrating various 3rd party software, have limited or nil visibility into the source code and vulnerabilities that lie within these components. To tackle this, OEM's require a system that is capable of assessing, responding, reporting and mitigating threats in real-time, at different levels - supply chain, gateway, telematics or infotainment.
Our second speaker, Colin Bird-Martinez, stated that as per IHS Markit, by 2024 three out of four vehicles will have a Telematic Control Unit (TCU). Why is this important? The rise of connected cars is building a data-driven, software-centric ecosystem which is increasing the vulnerability of the car systems. To ensure that we continue to adopt the new-found convenience and immersive experience that connected cars offer, focusing on securing the cars right from the time of conceptualization is imminent.
Smart integration of machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data and cloud for car security at appropriate levels will be the key differentiator and will, in turn, decide the future of autonomous car adoption. From vehicle design and machine learning to sensor reviews and demoing, the threat of cyberattack does not stop anywhere for a connected vehicle. Not even after the car is sold. In fact, the aftermarket services for connected car is one of the biggest areas of security concern.
Both Yuval and Colin discussed the importance of information sharing, standards and collaboration across the industry, referring to the work of Auto-ISAC, SAE and regulatory efforts on The Hill. It is imperative that automakers, OEM’s, software parties and every other stakeholder make a collaborative effort towards realizing a strong cybersecurity infrastructure to meet the ever-changing technology requirements of the connected ecosystem.
So, what would all of that mean moving forward into designing more secure vehicles?

  • Gain better visibility into fleets and streamline operations
  • Conduct activities around ongoing threats and invest in security research 
  • Be proactive in meeting the security requirements and launch a system that is future-proof
  • Ensure that the products being developed meet the high standards of security

You can check out our webinar addressing the supply chain complexities of the automobile industry here! Do let us know your views on securing the car that could be instrumental in driving the automobile industry further ahead.
Don’t miss out on any news and stay tuned for the next installment of our webinar series. If you would like any information or have any question, please feel free to write us a line here.