Rise of Automotive Hacking

Increasing cyberattacks in the automotive industry have cost billions of dollars, exacerbated as more automakers participate in autonomous spaces. Industry experts argue that autonomous driving is the future of the automotive industry. This is mainly because self-driving cars are safer, more comfortable, and more practical than regular cars. However, this technology has its drawbacks. Attacks range from physical to long-range digital attacks. Sadly, every time a new development is made in the technology field, a new cyberattack vector is born.

According to statistics, the global automotive industry will grow $9 trillion by 2030. Therefore, the future of the automobile industry seems very bright. Autonomy is the future of the automotive industry. This innovative technology, however, requires a response to the threat of cyberattacks. As automotive vehicles use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies to communicate, this makes them more prone to cyberattacks. In 2020, the number of automotive hacking incidents jumped by nearly 138%.

According to recent studies, cyberattacks are expected to grow by 99% over the next few years. In February, Toyota suffered a data breach, leaking the personal information of 3.1 million customers. It’s child’s play for hackers to control, steer, change gear, and even steal vehicles. If the vehicle is hit by a cyberattack, hackers can easily access the owner’s driving data. There are, however, many ways to protect your vehicle from hacker attacks.

How to prevent car cyberattacks?

Below experts recommend five ways to protect your vehicle. These practices allow manufacturers to develop solutions, analyze threats and suspicious activity.

Update car software

Older software not only contains errors but is constantly threatened by hackers. Hackers can steal your personal information or control your car. Therefore, it is advisable to check your computer for software updates. Please pay attention to the notification from the car manufacturer and update the car software.

Limiting the use of the wireless system

A wireless system that remotely monitors any movement of the vehicle can be a problem. Wireless or remote systems are generally controlled online and are more vulnerable to cyberattacks, thus increasing the risk.

Using VPN

VPN has proven to be an effective way to protect vehicle operators. VPN protects car engines and electronic devices from external malware attacks. Therefore, a strong VPN is recommended for drivers to have secure access to the Internet.

Turning off GPS

The GPS system of self-driving cars is vulnerable to hackers, and vehicles are easily hacked by “GPS spoofing”. This process involves using radio signals to disrupt the GPS tracking system. Therefore, the driver should turn off GPS.

Safety is a priority

Manufacturers need to make sure that vehicle safety is the primary focus when developing a vehicle. However, if this is not the case, it can lead to car hacking. Don’t worry if your vehicle is misplaced in a safety device. You can talk to experts and use vulnerability assessment services to identify and address the security vulnerabilities that exist within your car`s infrastructure.

Vulnerability assessment management

This process involves identifying, evaluating, treating, and reporting security vulnerabilities. This can be best implemented alongside other security tactics vital for your vehicle.

What else can be done to prevent such attacks?

Manufacturers protect R & D but because of this issue, industry players are sharing resources and cooperating with better cybersecurity practices. They set up an Automatic Information Sharing and Analysis Center (AutoISAC) to outline guidelines for manufacturers and suppliers to prepare for cybersecurity issues.

The practices described by AutoISAC are:

  • Risk assessment and management
  • Safety by design
  • Threat detection and protection
  • Incident response and recovery
  • Training and awareness
  • Cooperation and involvement with appropriate third parties

These practices provide a powerful framework that enables manufacturers to share information, analyze threats, and develop solutions instantly. This is an important step forward and a solid strategy in the fight against cybercrime in the automotive industry.

Final Takeaway

The automotive industry is growing exponentially every day. Going on a back foot is never a solution to adapt to the current changes. There is a dire need to prioritize the safety and security of automotive vehicles. The current demands of prioritizing security became significant—that’s why an inclination has been witnessed towards vulnerability assessment services and their management.

As automotive sales are rising, so is automotive hacking. Automakers need to shift their security approach from pure physical security to cyber security as a key factor in both the development and deployment of automotive AI capabilities. It’s clear that automakers can’t afford to ignore security to successfully fight cybercriminals and thwart car cyberattacks.