The worldwide market for connected vehicles is expected to increase considerably in the coming years as connection technologies revolutionize the automotive sector. The advantages for consumers are numerous: connectivity provides drivers with high-definition video streaming, Wi-Fi access, enhanced entertainment devices, and the potential to remotely control elements of the vehicle by using mobile phone apps, like the locking/unlocking as well as ignition mechanisms.
However, like with every other equipment that links to the internet, cyber thieves pose a threat to vehicle security. Personal data leaks, risks to a vehicle’s critical security and protection procedures, and, in extreme circumstances, full remote control of the vehicle can all arise from security breaches. As the industry advances toward more self-driving vehicles, these risks are only going to grow owing to increased dependence on apps, connectivity, and much more integrated and complex electrical components.
Failure to manage these issues might have disastrous consequences for customer trust, privacy, even brand reputation. Worse, consumer safety is jeopardized.
What Are The Security Risks Of Connected Cars
Theft Of Personal Data
As the number of sensors in automobiles grows, hackers may be able to acquire personally identifiable information (PII) from the vehicle’s systems, like personal travel and GPS information, entertainment choices, or even financial data.
Car thieves can obtain illegal entrance to vehicles as digital keys, wireless key fobs, plus mobile apps replace conventional physical car keys. This can be accomplished by intercepting interactions between a cellphone or wireless key fob and the vehicle, employing devices that stretch the range of the radio signal and emulate the wireless key to connect to a vehicle by using the owner’s own wireless key fob, if the owner is still close to their car. If not done correctly, managing virtual vehicle keys may be just as difficult as managing actual keys. The enrollment of a key, the confirmation of a ‘unlock’ attempt, and, most crucially, the revocation of a key must all be conducted securely.
Cybercriminals can take advantage of vulnerabilities in a vendor’s software. This is because security has sometimes been overlooked in the design phase of connected automobiles and their elements, this presents an ideal target for cybercriminals exploiting weaknesses via cellular networks, Wi-Fi, and attached devices. Furthermore, connected cars must be able to trust, as well as be trusted by, the elements and service(s) to which they are linked.
Manipulation Of Safety-Critical Systems
Hackers have the ability to control safety-critical parts of a vehicle’s functioning, such as steering as well as braking systems, by hacking the cruise control software.
Mobile Application Security Vulnerabilities
As more and more mobile applications for connecting with automobiles are published by manufacturers, they become a target for criminal actors. In the instance of the Nissan Leaf, for instance, security testers revealed how they might get illegal access to remotely operate the heated steering wheel, seats, fans, and air conditioning. This can deplete the battery and leave the car inoperable in an electric vehicle. Gartner reports that 75% of mobile apps fail standard security assessments. Concerns have also been raised about the number of security flaws in the IOS and Android mobile operating systems.
Lack Of “Designed-in” Security
The automobile sector has limited historical experience in dealing with cybersecurity threats, as seen by the absence of security incorporated into many of the initial generations of connected cars’ hardware and software components. Furthermore, it appears that appropriate education regarding secure coding methods is lacking. Also, there is a shortage of comprehensive security testing, with most of it occurring too late in the software development process. Furthermore, in order to reduce component prices, some safety-critical, as well as non-safety-critical operations, may pool resources (physical connectivity, processor cores, or Internet access). The only way to develop “Secure by Design” technologies that will be durable in the long run is to develop from scratch, from the viewpoint of a hostile entity.
Security Vulnerabilities In The Complex Supply Chains
Third-party suppliers are highly relied upon by automotive manufacturers to offer the systems, software, and hardware for their cars. However, unless automakers enforce stringent cybersecurity standards on their Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, they risk introducing security flaws through these components. Counterfeit components could also infiltrate the supply chain, endangering safety by lowering wear ratings, circumventing safety restrictions, and so on. Any component in charge of vital functions, such as brakes, must clearly satisfy the strictest security criteria.
Failure To Apply The Most Recent Security Updates And Patches
As new types of attacks emerge, the only effective answer is to guarantee that platforms placed in the field can be simply and securely upgraded. Many of these updates are given via supplied components, software, and systems that rely on wireless connections linked to personal computing devices, which present their own set of security problems.
Inadequate Key Management Processes
Although most automakers utilize key management technologies to maintain cryptographic keys, most still use a manual approach, limiting their utility and compromising security.
In-Vehicle Infotainment Vulnerabilities
Vehicle entertainment technology innovations, ranging from sat-nav to high-definition streaming video, benefit drivers. However, these platforms are increasingly providing services that employ sensitive data and therefore are security-critical to cars and end-users. Both Apple and Android provide infotainment systems as well as vehicle-specific app stores. There is potential to combine apps like payment as well as social networking with more vehicle-specific demands like tolls, parking, and travel planning. Connecting these worlds opens up new possibilities, but that also raises the risk of app-centric malware attacking the automobile platform.
The CEO Trustonic, Ben Cade, commented: “The industry’s rapid transformation towards autonomous, connected, electric and shared (ACES) mobility, and the rise of high-bandwidth 5G connectivity, is enabling automakers to deliver new in-vehicle services and rich content. Increasingly sophisticated digital cockpit systems will bring new, personalized digital experiences for drivers and passengers – but they also create security and content-protection challenges that must be addressed with proven trust. With cars having such long lifecycles compared to other smart devices, innovative OEMs and Tier 1 vendors are building IVI architectures with long-term security at their core.”