Role of Cyber Security in Modern Time Smart Vehicles

The rise of smart automobiles has ushered in a realm of boundless technological possibilities in our modern world. However, this advancement has also given rise to challenges that extend beyond the vehicle itself. With cars becoming increasingly sophisticated and interconnected to the internet, there's a growing concern about the heightened risk of cyber threats. The integration of devices through Wi-Fi networks or USB ports exposes them to potential hacking, providing unauthorized access to the data stored on these devices. Likewise, as smart cars rely on the internet for their seamless operation, it introduces a potential entry point for hackers to exploit and compromise valuable data.

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Vulnerability due to Connectivity

The evolution of internal vehicle architectures is closely tied to the changing landscape of consumer preferences and technological advancements. With the booming smartphone and tablet industries, consumers now expect more sophisticated in-car experiences.

In response, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are incorporating advanced features, such as improved software updating capabilities, compatibility with digital assistants like Google and Alexa, and support for streaming services like Spotify and Netflix, as well as real-time traffic updates.

These advancements align with the automotive industry's push towards electrifying powertrains, integrating advanced driver assistance systems, and transitioning to level 2 autonomous systems. As a result, there is a growing need for innovative internal vehicle designs that can accommodate the increasing number of microprocessors found in modern cars. 

To meet this demand, Ethernet, specifically Ethernet-AVB, is emerging as a standard solution within vehicles. It provides enhanced bandwidth, timing synchronization, and support for gateways, enabling communication between different bus architectures in ways not feasible a decade or so ago.

In the contemporary automotive landscape, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are now common features, contributing to an increased risk of remote cyberattacks. The backend cloud systems that vehicles connect to for receiving updates, software downloads or post-diagnostic logs represent another potential point of vulnerability.

While this may not grant physical control of the vehicle to a hacker, it could enable location tracking, access to user data and passwords, and the injection of malicious code through transmitted updates, leading to disruptions in the In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) or telematics unit that may distract the driver.

Manufacturer's Responsibility

Manufacturers, dealers, and drivers share a collective responsibility to prioritize vehicle cybersecurity, recognizing it as a multifaceted task that demands continuous cooperation and vigilance. To optimize the security of future transportation, solutions must be adaptable, safe, and practical across diverse ecosystems.

The landscape of automotive cybersecurity is undergoing significant changes with the advent of the connected car era. Currently, there are tens of millions of vehicles with built-in connectivity features on the roads.

According to Juniper Research, this number is expected to reach up to 775 million connected automobiles by 2023. Consequently, the automotive industry moving forward will encounter an entirely new set of challenges.

Any system connected to a network is susceptible to cyberattacks, a reality underscored by numerous instances across various industries. With the automotive sector increasingly embracing digital connectivity, cybersecurity risks and threats are on the rise.

To ensure the safety of passengers and the integrity of the automotive network, the industry must implement appropriate cybersecurity measures, especially in light of projections indicating over 125 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.

Conclusion

The advent of smart vehicles brings exciting technological possibilities but also exposes them to heightened cybersecurity risks. As cars become more interconnected and reliant on digital features, the industry faces challenges in securing vehicles against potential cyber threats. The responsibility for cybersecurity falls on manufacturers, dealers and drivers requiring continuous cooperation. With millions of connected vehicles on the road and projections reaching 775 million by 2023, the automotive sector must implement robust cybersecurity measures like cyber insurance to ensure passenger safety. As the industry moves towards electrification and advanced functionalities, prioritizing adaptable and practical cybersecurity solutions is crucial for the future of transportation.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 27 December 2023
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