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Security: An Essential Part of Automotive Product Development

The NAIAS in Detroit, Michigan is the largest car show in the world. Just a month away, the show promises to unveil the latest models and the newest technologies. Advancements in connected car capabilities will likely be on display. Lately, the topic of security has also been getting the attention it deserves.

As car companies compete for attention, connected systems and newer, more advanced features are becoming an important selling feature for new vehicles. This same technology also leaves vehicles vulnerable to hacks.

After the widely publicized hack of the Jeep Cherokee in August 2015, consumers are well aware of the dangers of a hack. For automakers, the immediate challenge is to greatly reduce the risks.

The topics of advanced technology and security were on display at the LA Auto Show Connected Car Expo, which took place in November. The event featured a couple of security centred discussions.

Rethinking How Cars are Planned

A private event hosted by Fortune Magazine featured a panel of security experts to the industry insiders who are planning and building the new vehicles. Andy Gryc, the director of the Connected Car Expo, Danny Shapiro, senior director of automotive at Nvidia, and Jack Pokrzywa, director of cyber security standards at the Society of Automotive Engineers, discussed what the industry needs to change to reduce the risk of hacks on the next generation of vehicles.

All agreed that security had to be front-and-centre in the car's development. Security solutions cannot be treated as an add-on. It has to be part of product development. That means a complete shift in the thinking behind how cars are currently developed. They pointed to Tesla as an example of a company that is already taking this approach by using the computer system as the starting point for designing their vehicles. Security is built into every step of the process and into the supply chain.

Data Integrity is a Must

Security expert Andre Wiemerskirch of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute reinforced this assertion during his presentation at the expo. He focused on the risks associated with lax security.

The supply chain for automobile manufacturing is complex, involving thousands of parts and numerous suppliers. There is an increased risk for security breaches. He pointed out situations where data, if not secured, can relay inaccurate and potentially dangerous information. Wiemerskirch affirmed that the risk of vulnerability is too great without being able to guarantee the integrity of the data.

At TrustPoint Innovation, we believe that we cannot have safe connected vehicles without the proper security in place. Our approach is to ensure security is designed to be part of the technology from the beginning and never bolted on as an afterthought.

Watch our connected car demonstration to learn more about how TrustPoint Innovation secures connected vehicle communications.

About this Blog

The TrustPoint Innovation Blog covers security industry topics relating to Certificates, Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communication, Near Field Communication (NFC), Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communication, and more.

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