Automotive Manufacturers Brace for New Cybersecurity Challenges

The Ponemon Institute survey conducted in 2015 painted a troubling picture of cybersecurity in the automotive industry for autonomous vehicle systems. Respondents participating in the survey came from various backgrounds within the automotive OEM and Tier One supplier community. Developers and engineers alike participated in the automotive cybersecurity survey.

A Long Way to Go

Key findings from the survey showed a theme of a major disconnect. The survey revealed that cybersecurity was a major issue for automotive OEMs. One issue cited was the lack of automotive technologies available to support production processes aimed at improving security for autonomous driving vehicles. John Carlin, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security,  sounded the alarm for concern at the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) 2016 World Congress, highlighting the potential impact of a major autonomous vehicle cybersecurity attack large enough in scale to affect over 100,000 cars simultaneously  . “If you were able to do something that could affect a large scale of an industry — like 100,000 cars — you could see that being in the arsenal of a nation-state’s tool kit as a new form of warfare,” he said. How to ensure privacy while promoting cybersecurity in vehicles and the role government entities would play in policy were topics discussed at the SAE conference.

What Will the Guidelines Look Like?

Newly released guidelines are to be introduced soon. The NHTSA has hinted at some suggestions for improved cybsersecurity guidelines for automotive OEMs and automotive suppliers. Past roundtables focused on how to address cybersecurity challenges in an expedient manner as they occur. The agency has focused on these security topics in the past relating to innovative automotive systems:

Security Concerns

  •  Determining liability for hackers
  • Identifying agencies with authority to handle safety and regulatory issues
  • Creating a urgent response team deploy resources and quickly address vulnerabilities when threats happen

What Steps Have Been Taken so Far?

The NHTSA has been proactive in planning for the influx of new automotive steering systems soon to be introduced to consumers.  From restructuring initiatives to in-depth policy analysis, the agency has taken significant steps in addressing automotive safety concerns.  To date, the agency has taken the following steps to address cybersecurity threats in autonomous vehicles.

NHTSA Steps Taken to Date

1. Strategic partnerships were developed
2. Multi-tiered research approach created
3. Significant organizational restructuring
4. Legislative reviews performed
5. Advocacy within the automotive community to promote better cybersecurity

As OEMs continue to encounter a series of changes as they develop cutting edge automotive systems and components, Dixien, LLC is ready to assist in supplying the reliable parts that support them.  As a supplier of over 40 years, we understand how legislative changes affecting automotive safety and auto cybersecurity impact OEMs , and we’re ready to meet the evolving needs of the automotive OEM community as trusted Tier 1 suppliers.