Automotive companies are doubling down on cybersecurity as cars become increasingly software-reliant and connected. We look at how companies want to fend off these threats.
The automotive industry is moving quickly to make cars smarter.
From semi-autonomous driving to integrated voice assistants to in-car payments, vehicles are becoming much more reliant on software. This will become even more pronounced as the industry moves towards delivering fully autonomous vehicles.
Automakers are doubling down on these connected vehicles. General Motors announced plans in November to hire 3,000 design, engineering, and IT positions by the end of Q1’21. Investors have also poured more than $25B into connected car and self-driving technology startups across nearly 650 deals since 2018.
While software and sensors enable the user experience many consumers have come to expect, they also represent potential opportunities for hackers. Below, we look at 3 potential areas of vulnerability for connected vehicles — wireless attacks, local attacks, and enterprise attacks — and highlight emerging companies and recent activity geared toward combating these threats.
- Smarter, more connected cars create security challenges. More than 80% of cybersecurity professionals at suppliers and manufacturers had concerns that security practices were not keeping up with evolving technologies, according to a report by Ponemon Institute.
- A new breed of cybersecurity company is stepping up to meet the unique needs of automobiles. Whether they are monitoring for malicious activity or protecting a vehicle’s systems, automotive-first cybersecurity companies represent new entrants to the cybersecurity space.
- Despite rising awareness of cyber threats, connected cars remain vulnerable to hacks. Automotive cyber incidents grew 94% year-over-year (YoY) from 2016 to 2019, according to vehicle cybersecurity company Upstream. These incidents took advantage of security weaknesses at both the enterprise and vehicle level.