Cybersecurity is an Essential Vitamin for the Growth of Autonomous Vehicles

The growing number of self-driving car capabilities such as computer vision and orchestration technologies will require a level of protection in terms of automotive cyber security.

We are living in a century of ubiquitous connectivity. Automotive industry is not far behind in closing the gap towards achieving autonomous vehicles or self-driving cars. The base of the technology for achieving Level 5 self-driving cars is still not future proof and can be hacked to claim people lives unless companies operating in this domain start investing in novel automotive cyber security solutions.

Connected cars are piling up and employing powerful operating systems and software’s to scale and achieve self-driving car capabilities. The growing activities related to software also increases hacking opportunities and poses a serious threat to the growth of self-driving cars. There is a need to focus on automotive cyber security through all the angles such as in a self-driving car a hacker can enter the controlled environment through an inbuilt application, smartphone connection, enter the production facility to bug the vehicle from manufacturing, through hotspot, vehicle worm which is similar to coronavirus spread but instead of transmitting from one human to other it will transmit from one vehicle to the other, and finally from infotainment + vehicle network.

It requires higher investment to develop a robust defensive mechanism for complex automotive value chain. This basic challenge is turning out in the favor of attackers as many companies are still not investing appropriate amount for research and implementation of automotive cyber security.

As per GM, the company is spending more than $100 million per year for developing cyber security solution in-house. At present, the company is focusing on securing the wireless devices connected through the vehicle network, securing the vehicle and private individual data, and in vehicle communication. The company was able to file couple of patents in these areas, skill gap is the reason for slow development in automotive cyber security. Thus based on Automo expertise, we predict more than 2 million job will be open in the market for cybersecurity but most of the position will be unfilled because of the skill gap. 

In the next five to ten years of time, the new bunch of vehicle sold in Europe i.e. approximately 85% will be connected. Every vehicle will have some kind of self-driving capabilities from Level 1 to Level 3. In the US, the numbers will increase and might lead to more than 90%. Whereas the commercial vehicle or machine driven trucks will gradually grow in the next 5 years of time.

The growing number of self-driving car capabilities such as computer vision and orchestration technologies will require a level of protection in terms of automotive cyber security. The current level of automotive cybersecurity will create hindrance for the growth of connected vehicle and self-driving cars and will also pose an opportunity for the novel automotive cybersecurity solutions. Thus the automotive cybersecurity will be a billion dollar industry in the next three to four years of time. Furthermore, the automakers need to look at other companies and industries for cybersecurity solutions. The industry is very slow in addressing the cybersecurity challenge and developing the in house capabilities.

The autonomous vehicle is the biggest threat in terms of safety and security. And for the cyber-terrorist, it is the killing machine such as machine driven trucks easily available on the roads which can be maneuvered when required. The inadequately secured machine will increase the level of threat in the environment.

The automakers are conscious about the gaps in security and are planning to partner with the companies to develop the solution which provides the security by design. Automakers need to invest in security technology to gain customer trust for vehicle adoption.

The multi-level security protection is required to fulfill the vehicle safety requirement. The security solutions should be based on the vehicle design and the countermeasures should be designed for the machine learning codes. The solution which will win in the future will act on both known and unknown threats in the market.

The companies in the automotive cybersecurity domain need to evolve over time and partnership will be the key to achieve the goal of security in autonomous vehicles. Companies such as SafeRide has developed a solution based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. With the help of the solutions, the companies can take into account both known and unknown threats based on the vehicle behavior. The company has formed a strategic partnership with Irdeto which further adds the protection capability to the package. This further makes the SafeRide solution as the most advanced solution in the market.

The vendors in security orchestration technologies includes Anomali, Cyberbit, Ayehu, D3 Security, EclecticIQ, Demisto, LogRhythm, DFLabs, , FireEye, Microsoft, IBM Resilient, RSA, Rapid7, ServiceNow, Resolve Systems, , Siemplify, Swimlane, ThreatQuotient, Syncurity, ThreatConnect, , CyberSponse, Splunk, AlienVault and many more.

Collaboration and partnership will be the key to achieve secure autonomous vehicles. The solution should be able to scale based on the unknown threats detected over time. The security space in the automotive domain will witness a lot of mergers and acquisition in the coming years. The automakers are trying to bring the security technology in-house to increase the trust of the end user and to also keep a tab on know-how, this will further fasten the development of autonomous vehicles.

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