Could this be you in this scene two years from today?
You walk to your car to unlock the door. You use your mobile phone which has replaced your car key. This time, however, your phone sends you a message that the door has already been unlocked, that a portion of the data from your phone connected to it appears to have been extracted, and that some of the car’s vital functions also seem to have been the subject of tampering.
Is this only fiction?
A race against time to protect our connected cars
Possibly not-- because car manufacturers, Tier1 suppliers and Thales are, together, in a race against time to make sure that our vehicles’ digital control systems connected to the Internet are protected from cyberattacks that otherwise could interfere with their security and safety and open the door to theft of our personal data.
Already today, no less than 80 different electronic command units are working to control critical functions of our cars. Ranging from essential functions such as braking and steering to others such as GPS and media, they make our automobiles one of the most important ‘connected’ objects among hundreds of millions of others on the Internet of Things.
Building in Cybersecurity “by design”
The connectivity is bringing huge benefits, but it also creates a challenge: how do you safeguard the functioning of our car from malevolent hacking that could hijack your car’s functions?
And how do you protect your data from your own phone or other devices connected inside your major source of mobility today---your automobile? Tomorrow, we also need to make sure that the hyper-connected self-driving car is totally fail-safe in terms of data protection
“The ideal way to assure data protection and cybersecurity in the connected car is building it in from the start, ‘by design’”, says Jean-Marie Letort, VP Cybersecurity Consulting and Operations at Thales. “So, from the first stage of vehicle architecture, we work with car manufacturers and equipment makers to contribute our expertise in cybersecurity. Our track record in the digital transformation of other major transport sectors such as air and rail, as well as in industry 4.0 is a source of expertise and experience that makes the difference”.
A critical success factor for the connected car
A commitment to data security also is necessary for consumer confidence in the connected car, says Jean-Marie Letort, “We need to show skeptical consumers that their data is protected, and that the critical information systems of their cars are cyber-secured.
This is a key success factor for the autonomous car societal challenge. “
He concludes, “Tomorrow’s driverless cars can make a real social contribution in reducing traffic and pollution and increasing safety. We can also show how predictive maintenance in tomorrow’s cars will be a big plus both for safety and convenience. So the connected car really can contribute to the Intelligent City of the future.”
If the car you drive isn’t connected yet, chances are it soon will be. Technology analysts Gartner claim that one in every five cars – a quarter of a billion vehicles – will have some form of wireless network connection by 2020.