The Global Automotive Cybersecurity Market is expected to grow by $ 1.92 bn during 2021-2025.

But as automotive technology advances, so does the cybersecurity risks.

We look at the risks associated with smart cars and what the future holds.

Why is automotive cyber security important?

The digital technologies in modern cars are designed to make our lives easier, but they can also create opportunities for hackers to access systems and data.

For example, security researchers were able to unlock a Tesla Model X using a WiFi dongle and a drone up to a range of 300 feet. A hack was discovered by exploiting a security flaw in the infotainment system of the car. The hack not only unlocked the car but the cyber researchers were able to adjust the air conditioning, play music and also adjust the seat positions. They could not however command the car to start. Tesla was informed of the hack and subsequently, a Tesla cyber security software update was carried out meaning this hack shouldn’t be possible today.

What is a cyber car?

A cyber car is a vehicle that has access to the internet and usually a wireless local area network. The use of the internet in cars allows you to access information and control certain functions such as changing the air conditioning and unlocking the doors via your smartphone. A cyber car is often fitted with additional technologies that provide the driver with notifications of traffic and safety alerts, providing another connection to the outside world and potential security risk.

While these services may be convenient, the implications could be severe if criminals hack into them.

The risks smart cars pose for companies and legal employees

Threatening the vehicle user’s privacy: if a hacker infiltrates a car’s inbuilt microphone, they can listen to private conversations. Alternatively, cyber criminals could target a GPS to get hold of sensitive information such as addresses. For legal employees in particular, exposing criminals to client’s sensitive data would result in a data breach.

Smartphone access: hackers may target your vehicle to gain access to your connected mobile device, giving them access to passwords, client details and financial data.

Possible vehicle theft: even as automotive advances, it is possible that access to the remote systems that modern cars used is gained and could lead to the theft of a vehicle.

Malware in your music: if the music you download in your car contains malware, it could be used to get into your car’s systems to gain control of your sensitive information.

What is IoT in the automotive industry?

IoT is being used to transform the automotive industry to create innovative driving and car solutions, including:

Road condition analytics: IoT can be used to detect the conditions of roads in real time, enabling the driver to select an alternative route based on accidents, road closures, construction work or speed limits.

Predictive maintenance: AI technology is used to gather data that predicts possible defects before they happen. Machine learning helps the vehicle to make appropriate recommendations based on wear and tear, predicting when the car will need replacement parts of a service to avoid a full breakdown in the future.

Driver monitoring system: through cameras and advanced vision technology, vehicle systems can monitor a driver’s actions and send messages to the car to alert the driver if they are losing focus. For example, the system can detect rash driving, driver drowsiness and even driver emotions.

The future of vehicle cybersecurity

Cyber security for the automotive sector is around $4 billion and this figure is expected to double by 2030.

A U.N. regulation has now mandated that manufacturers of network-connected cars have to ensure their cars are secure against possible cyber attacks.

Not only does the new regulation outline security standards to manufacturers, but it also requires manufacturers to guarantee the security of their third-party suppliers.

The new U.N. regulation requires car makers to protect against certain types of cyber attacks. There are concerns though along the lines that an attack may not just affect one car but could be spread to hundreds of cars. Also, a hacked car could result in injury or even death to the occupants, pedestrians or indeed other road users. 

The new regulations are scheduled to take effect in 2022.

Automotive cyber security

For the automotive industry, cybersecurity cars need to protect electronic systems, communication networks, software and users from malicious attacks and unauthorised access.

CBSIT can give you access to the knowledge and technology you need to protect your legal firm. Book your free IT consultation today.