The present state of vehicles and technology has been in place for years as engineers have been working to improve them over time. The electrical engineers have been working on improving wiring harnesses and other electrical systems and mechanical engineers have also worked on various aspects of the vehicle, including lowering the vehicle weight and the upcoming autonomous vehicle.
Even with the years of time spent on the engineering, vehicles are still exhibiting cybersecurity issues. There are defects in the data retention, with mass amounts of data being leaked in clear text. There are also incorrect information security policies and procedures being applied. This is still occurring for a number of reasons. The people involved with driving, engineering, and management of the manufacturing process are all completely aware of the importance of info sec being applied to the vehicle. There have been an abundance of news stories and articles on the recalls, on the millions these recalls cost manufacturers, the loss of rapport and confidence with the community.
There continues to be the misguided opinion among manufacturers that security is not really needed, and if it is, it can be added to the project whenever, and is simply a roadblock to success. As an example, a researcher was recently told that info sec was “trampling” on his project’s progress. The direct inference was info sec was only a roadblock to advancement of the industry.
This mindset has to change and manufacturers need to take security seriously. Granted the info sec process can slow the process a bit. This slight increase in time is to be expected, as this is another process to consider and complete. This takes time. Security is there to help us not make the same mistake 2, 3, 4, and 5 times. For those who do not study and know history, they are doomed to repeat it.
It is important to evangelize the need for the appreciation of security and embracing the newest info sec standards and methods. Until this occurs and management fully supports this endeavor, vehicles are not going to be secure, will be breach-able, and if you are targeted, a potential danger for the driver and the driver’s family exist. Learn more ways to protect your business at The National Cybersecurity Institute.
Charles Parker, II, has been coding since the mid-1980’s, and has been working in the finance, auto manufacturer, and health industries seeking secure solutions for issues for over 17 years. Charles has an MBA, MSA, JD, LLM, and is a doctoral candidate for a PhD in Information Assurance and Security.