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Automotive cybersecurity sees wider uptake in connected cars

Posted: 13 Dec 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ABI Research  connected car  cybersecurity  ECU  OEM 

ABI Research has recently released a report that analyses security solutions for automotive embedded capabilities, software and secure network connectivity as the market unrolls the carpet for the future of connected cars. As autonomous vehicles continue to increase in availability and popularity, car cybersecurity is racing to the forefront of automotive makers' minds as new, emerging threat vectors continue to surface, ones capable of critically affecting the functional safety of vehicles.

The report forecasted that the global hardware security module (HSM) sales volume per vehicles, including both consumer and commercial, will reach 2.3 billion units by 2020.

"In a car, there are typically about 100 different electrical control units (ECUs), and right now, most cars do not contain secure-enough hardware," said Michela Menting, research director at ABI Research. "It's a difficult challenge to transpose enterprise cybersecurity models into mobile cyber physical systems, but the automotive industry is ramping up to start strategically thinking about and deploying automotive cybersecurity solutions."

Connectivity to drive global car market

According to a review conducted by The Institution of Engineering and technology, connectivity is set to become a compelling feature of the global car market over the next five years, leading to a market worth nearly $43 billion by 2018, according to forecasts from research firm SBD and mobile industry body the GSMA. In general terms, a connected car is a road vehicle equipped with three sets of communications systems: Internet access, and (usually) also an internal network, usually wireless, which enables the car to route its connection access (sometimes known as vehicle-to-Internet, or V2I) to other devices that are installed inside, and possibly outside, of the vehicle. Alongside these typically there is the CAN bus (or similar) used to interconnect the gamut of ECUs, sensors and actuators that now form part of a vehicle's inner electronic workings. Increasingly, such cars are fitted with specific technologies that link into the Internet access or internal network to provide additional driver benefits: automatic notification of collisions, notification of excessive speeding and other safety alerts, for example.

The challenges facing car manufacturers lie in learning to work with security vendors to adapt existing solutions to cars, becoming more involved in the design and implementation of security standards and strategically incorporating security solutions at the research and development level. Data protection is also a relevant concern, and OEMs will need to work closely with cybersecurity solution corporations to determine how to protect a connected car's data and set necessary privacy parameters.

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