Key Elements Driving Auto Cyber Security and Best Practices to Thwart Attacks

December, 2016

The ever-increasing need for advanced technology in vehicles is driving the path to design a robust cyber-security intended to prevent systems used in vehicles from virus/malware attacks and other data infringements.

According to Infoholic Research The Global Auto Cyber Security market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.2% during the forecast period 2015–2020.

Key factors driving the need for cyber security in automobiles: 

  • Wireless communication:

The vehicles are getting connected to the outer world with the implementation of advanced technologies like internet of things. These advancements have led to creating of extended functionalities which are making vehicles an attractive target for hackers.

  • Content from multiple devices:

More and more personal data is available in car networks. The car themselves have lot of data stored into it and many other devices like smartphones laptops are connected to the car. There is a threat form hackers that they will get access to personal information regarding banks accounts and other information.

  • Securing internal and external systems:

The next generation vehicles will communicate with multiple system like traffic lights, road trains and get intimation regarding floods or other natural calamities. There is a need to safely manage these systems with appropriate preemptive actions and avoid attack on vehicle security as the safety threats may come through surrounding infrastructure.

Advantages of designing a secure automotive system: 

  • Pre-designed vehicle security system:

Manufacturers are integrating security functions into hardware and software during the designing phase itself with the aim to protect systems against potential threats and create a process to automatically anticipate and test the system at different levels.

  • Addressing known cyber-security risks:

Manufacturers are taking into consideration the possible impact of known cybersecurity risks and discovered vulnerabilities while developing security systems. The process helps to prioritize the key functions required for identifying the most potential cybersecurity threat both internally and externally. 

  • Detecting threats:

Manufactures are developing a threat detection system which can identify cyber incidents, protect against cyber-attacks and help to mitigate major impact to the vehicle's system. It also shields against threats from third parties such as suppliers, dealers, repair partners, and others in the vehicle ecosystem.

  • Comprehensive response plan:

 Developing a streamlined process that establishes a standard communications protocols between automotive manufacturers, cyber-security researchers, suppliers and government agencies. The process is designed to address discovered vulnerabilities and enhance product security. And further creates an incident response team which notifies internal team and triggers quick response activities to assess and counter cyber-attacks.

  • Collaborating with third parties:

Companies are collaborating with multiple stakeholders and are sharing cyber threat trends with third parties to tackle with cyber-attacks. They are working with different suppliers to create an appropriate ecosystem which can identify threats and take quick measures to resolve them.

Security standards and best Practices for avoiding cyber-attacks in the future: 

  • Security development life-cycle: 

Creating a defined security development life-cycle to help curtail cyber security threats and create a system to inform customers of the product security goals. It helps to share processes which include architectural reviews, coding standards, functional validation and security test cases. It also covers multiple checkpoints to make sure all the possible assumptions and threats undergo a review to ensure that the product meets the needs of a changing environment.

  • Secured supply chain: 

Identifying and avoiding flow of vulnerable parts is the key to maintain the trust and integrity of the security architecture. There is a need to create authorized procurement process involving critical parts which will help to detect major components involved with security and safety systems.

  • Risk mitigation and controls: 

The threats may come from different parts or system either internal or external. There is a need to design a rigorous tracking of when and where each batch of material and systems are consumed while manufacturing as well as during installation.

  • Leveraging standards: 

The automobile industry is required to make conscious effort to follow security standards and give highest priority. The point of standardization is to be followed from the developer to the retailer in order to create a standard procedure for compliance.

Innovation in the field of automation is driving the way to build a secured solution and design which can easily mitigate unknown threats. The aim of all automotive security products is to make sure that the new models are protected and will be able to operate to their full potential and can operate in all possible operating environment.

For more details click to download PDF on Auto Cyber Security