IT security becomes essential feature for cars: Page 2 of 3

September 23, 2015 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
IT security becomes essential feature for cars
The development in the automotive industry clearly shows that the car is increasingly becoming a mainstream IT object, widely defined by software. Therefore, IT security is becoming a design goal and an elementary ingredient of the design process.

the connected car this will probably change. The car gets integrated into cloud architectures and becomes a part of the Internet of Things. Having a radio interface makes the vehicles inherently vulnerable to large-scale attacks. This all the more so as the “business model” for the connected car calls for devices that access internal control units to read out data from the internal systems and eventually also write new content into them. While, for instance, the capability of updating the car software through this interface would enable vendors to keep this software current or avoid product recalls, it could also enable malevolent contemporaries to inject undesired software into the cars. At stake is the confidence to the safety of today’s and tomorrow’s vehicles. A car that defies the control of its driver could become the worst case for the car manufacturer.

OEMs and suppliers have become aware of the problem. Researchers at Fraunhofer institute have developed a secure computing platform for vehicles. Intel recently launched an automotive security advisory board. Everywhere along the automotive value chain, developers have started to study ways to block attacks. They are not alone in doing so, the world market for IT security is a booming business. Market researcher Gartner estimates the world market for IT security to some $75 billion. “Interest in security technologies is increasingly driven by elements of digital business, particularly cloud, mobile computing and now also the Internet of Things”, says Gartner research analyst Elizabeth Kim.

What can automotive electronics designers and software developers do, to protect the vehicle? A growing industry is focusing on developing protective measures and strategies for the connected car and its software. “100 percent security will never be achievable,” says, Head of Engineering and Consulting at Bosch subsidiary Escrypt GmbH.  “But it is possible to reduce the risk to an acceptable level with protective measures that however have to continuously improved. Recommendable are multi-level concepts


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