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The Challenge Of Cybersecurity For Connected And Self-Driving Cars

The security of connected vehicles is still imperfect. According to Anthony Di Prima, expert in vehicle cybersecurity, and Gérôme Billois, associate in cybersecurity at Wavestone, the main issue is the porosity between the different key elements of the cars.

After noticing weaknesses in the security of connected cars, the manufacturers “have started working on improving cybersecurity inside and around the vehicle”, emphasizes Anthony Di Prima. And if by now the risks have been identified, so have the possible solutions. Among the shortcomings that need to be addressed is the porosity between the different gateways of the vehicle: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and onboard 4G are all potential gaps that could allow malicious take overs of key elements of these vehicles. It follows that at the moment «manufacturers are working on a real compartmentalization», the expert says.

Cars know all about your private life

“Who would actually be interested in taking over a vehicle to stop it on the side of the road?,” asks Gérôme Billois. Conversely, other risks exist. There could be harmful intrusions on the manufacturers’ platforms for fleet management, or even ransom demands in exchange for allowing the car to start. Moreover, Gérôme Billois points out how «vehicles have become true receptacles of data, with access to our personal lives, our emails, our contacts, our travel history». In order to tackle the challenges of cybersecurity on the road, we have to anticipate any possible usage, so as to develop effective defenses. In addition, we must consider that self-driving cars are called upon to develop in the ultra connected environment of the yet to come smart cities. Therefore, compartmentalization becomes a major issue if we want to avoid that potential leaks could spread to all information systems of the vehicle and its surroundings.

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