Automobiles are becoming more technologically advanced, but that does not mean they are immune to hacks. Modern-day cars have multiple computers in them. These cars boast communication with Bluetooth, WiFi, and Cellular & Infotainment with GPS navigation, and have the ability to self-drive and even parallel park themselves. All these marvellous features are enabled by Software, not only for entertainment but also for serious stuff like brakes, driving, tyre pressure, and the engine itself.

This makes cybersecurity an essential requirement for modern automobiles. The auto industry has seen a 94% year-over-year increase in hacks since 2016. So, should auto manufacturers prioritize security? Or focus on meeting the competitive and market-driven demands for new features in today’s connected cars?

Software Security or Cybersecurity is never an afterthought. It must be in the design and should be considered from day one. When done right, cybersecurity becomes an enabler rather than a necessary evil or a tax.

Secure by Design will allow safe and secure innovation to be made available for car consumers. To use the auto parlance, just like good brakes allow you to run fast, a good cybersecurity framework allows you to innovate fast.

Five things to consider about automotive cybersecurity

  • A seat at the Table – Developers and cybersecurity experts are part of the core design team.
  • Secure by Design – Security principles are defined and implemented across the system.
  • Detect and Respond – Software hacking is detectable immediately if it happens. An SoP on what to do when hacked must be there
  • Secure Updates – Cars will need updates and this security of the updates to prevent from Man in the Middle attacks is mandatory.
  • Automation DevSecOps – Legacy software acquisition and development practices in the automotive industry should give way to new methods that provide agility to deploy new software at the speed of the industry.

Cars are becoming like a device with updates and upgrades for bugs and features. The car parts are communicating not only within themselves but also with the external world. These advances in technology, architecture model, and network design mean the cars need to have an enhanced cybersecurity posture, to prevent cyber and safety incidents. The time to act is now.

Verolt Cybersecurity Practice focuses on above.