Cars and the People: Government Urges for Automotive Cybersecurity Policies to Address Hacking

The car of today processes a staggering amount of information every day. Nearby pedestrians, wind speeds, outside temperature, the list goes on. In addition to these environmental variables, however, modern cars also have access to a host personal data – that of its passengers.

From the time of connecting our phones to our cars via Bluetooth to play our favorite music, our cars have had a connection to those devices that hold so much information about our lives. The extent to which our cars consider our tastes has gone even further than music, however. As connectivity in vehicles increases, so does the access that they have to the details of our personal lives. The convenience of having this data available to one’s car is undeniable, such as making purchases with stored Credit Card data on the go or mapping the route to one’s friends’ houses; the benefits of connectivity are clear, but in the wrong hands this data can be a dangerous weapon.

A direct result of this possibility is the increase in discussion concerning the liabilities of protecting customer from connected car risks. Automotive OEM and Tier 1 suppliers, as well as legislation bodies have had to consider this reality for the future, as the amount of data cars will be privy to is expected only to increase over time.

According to a post by David McCabe of Axios, legislators from both sides of the United States’ political spectrum have expressed concern for this issue, featuring quotes coming from both Democratic Massachusetts senator Ed Markey and Republican Oklahoma senator James Inhofe regarding the future of cyber-security in cars. In order to effectively develop regulations ensuring the security of private information, legislators will need to consult bodies such as the SAE (Society for Automotive Engineers) and companies working on the frontier of automotive cyber security like Trillium. Considering the scale of damage that could be caused by hackers if left unchecked, no time should be lost in the preparation of a preemptive defense strategy.