Cybersecurity in connected cars – how do consumers see the rising cybersecurity threats?

The year 2017 saw a steady increase in the number of cybersecurity incidents as well as initiatives aiming to counter threats. Consumers experienced the incidents largely as a nuisance when some operations discontinued. Organizations hit by the incidents experienced the same nuisance as downtime which translated into additional costs.

Developing regulatory actions against cyber attacks

Connected cars are increasingly complex computers on wheels, and valuable objects, thus very attractive targets for both publicity seeking groups and someone seeking to benefit from vulnerabilities. In the article on Forbes “Unsecured At Any Speed: The Cyber Risks Of The Connected Car”, it was suggested that taking all security into a level where it should be is an enormous and a current challenge.

“In US, Link Motion has been working with Irdeto to advance cybersecurity regulation

Regulators are tackling the problem where they see the biggest potential in doing so, in privacy, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being a prime example of that. Private property protection covers cars, but it might not be best suited for cases, in which ransomware renders a car unusable for weeks. Regulators are also stepping up activities to protect their own operations and to respond to threats. In US, Link Motion has been working with Irdeto to advance cybersecurity regulation, “Irdeto and Link Motion about AV Start and SELF-DRIVE Acts”. In essence, regulation will increase the protection level and it will play an important role in making consumers aware of the security risks in the long run.

Taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity a key issue for companies

We see companies taking both passive and active strategies in cybersecurity, with a pendulum swinging towards a proactive planning. The advance of technologies and methodologies makes it easier to implement necessary measures with a shorter implementation span than before. Integration of information security and data security into R&D processes contribute to cybersecurity. Security of data needs to be of equal concern for developers, product designers and marketers. Developers thinking of data security shows that they are thinking of users’ interests.

The security bugs revealed in Intel processors are undoubtedly one of the widest spread incidents in 2017. Taking into account the extent of the breach and the number of impacted devices, the company seems to be walking out of the incident with dry feet. This is only possible because of Intel’s long-term commitment into security technology and careful management of the issue, being a prime example of how to handle serious cybersecurity incidents.

“The awareness of cybersecurity is rising fast. The addition of ever advancing features, such as artificial intelligence, remote control and payment, intensify discussion around the topic.

An outlook on the future trends

The awareness of cybersecurity is rising fast. Consumers will require protection against the latest cyber threats, and manufacturers are expected to provide adequate, up-to-date security protection.

The addition of ever advancing features, such as artificial intelligence, remote control and payment, intensify discussion around the topic.

Carmakers need to be well prepared to be able to act fast and mitigate problems in technical and non-technical fronts. The article on Financial Times “Self-driving cars raise fears over ‘weaponisation’” suggested that the lack of cybersecurity is becoming a big obstacle for self-driving cars, both because the lack of solutions and missing acceptance from general public.

Mikko Hurskainen is currently Technologist at Link Motion, focusing on technology development and forward looking projects. Mikko has extensive experience of embedded software development, he has been working on research, smart phone development and telecommunications. Prior joining to Link Motion he has been working at Nokia, Symbio, ST-Ericsson and start-ups. He holds M. Sc. from Tampere University of Technology.