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Accelerating security Winning the race to vehicle integrity and data privacy

Consumers drove the genesis of the connected vehicle. We’ve always wanted music to accompany our road trips, and that journey has taken us from the back roads of 8-track players to an age in which our mobile phones can store thousands of songs, which of course
we want to stream through the vehicle’s speakers.

While that may sound simple, there’s complexity involved whenever a vehicle has to connect to external devices. If the vehicle can provide Bluetooth services, why can’t it also serve as a WiFi hotspot for all passengers? In our recent study, “A new relationship — people and cars,” we found that 49 percent of consumers we surveyed expect the vehicle to be a securely integrated device in the Internet of Things (IoT) within the next 10 years.

Modern travelers will want to switch seamlessly between modes of transportation, all the while retaining a consistent and personalized digital experience. With many technologies sharing information about the traveler, and each participant in an intermodal experience independent from each other, governance and privacy are major concerns. When the traveler leaves one mode for another, there must be guarantees that personal data is wiped from the vehicle and that persistent data captured during the travel transaction is properly protected, encrypted and retained for the minimum period of use before it is finally deleted.

The good news is that connected functionalities aren’t being actively exploited by threat actors — yet. While researcher antics have dominated recent news — demonstrating that it is possible to take control of a vehicle — there hasn’t been widespread exploitation of vehicle vulnerabilities.3 Currently, general purpose computing platforms such as desktops, laptops and even mobile phones and tablets are easier targets for malware and ransomware; however, as security controls make it more difficult for attackers to compromise those targets, they’ll move on to the IoT, including connected vehicles.