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Telecom, auto industries need to collaborate on cybersecurity

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 07:00
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As the number of connected vehicles expands, auto-related cybersecurity has received more attention from both OEMs and the federal government.

In August, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) released a new report, “Improving Vehicle Cybersecurity: ICT Industry Experience & Perspectives,” that outlines the top threats to connected car security, as well as recommendations on how to better protect those systems from hackers and malware.

Vehicles will be connected via a variety of wireless systems, including dedicated short-range communication (DSRC), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Within the vehicle, a number of different systems may communicate over these networks, including telematics, infotainment, navigation and other solutions. Some of these systems may be managed by the OEMs themselves (like GM’s OnStar), while others are provided by third-party tech companies like Apple or Google.

Vehicles will increasingly also receive firmware and software upgrades over the air (OTA), creating additional access points and vulnerabilities.

Tech companies and auto companies rarely collaborated on security issues in the past, but that is changing. According to ATIS, vehicle manufacturers and information and telecommunications technology (ICT) companies are working together to proactively address these threats.

"The network reaches into new frontiers as it provides vehicle connectivity for advanced applications and data collection," says ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller. "This new report positions both the ICT industry and vehicle OEMs to work collaboratively to secure the network and block cyber attacks or malware events. ATIS believes that the connected vehicle's potential will be maximized through this industry-to-industry collaboration."

According to the paper, there are a number of top cyber threats when it comes to vehicles including:

• Privacy/Security: Data about the vehicle, its performance, or the driver could be compromised by a hacker.

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