One of the biggest concerns with the growing connected car industry has been the security of vehicles with internet connectivity. As discussed before on Blouin News, the internet of things, meaning a network of hardware connected to the internet, will require much more elaborate security measures than are currently in place. And each new high-profile hack — whether it be credit card companies, dating websites, or personal home networks — highlights the need for improved cyber-secure features.
To that end, car companies have a lot at stake. A hacked vehicle is a much larger risk than a hacked wristband in terms of potential bodily damage. The possibility of car hacks is real; a quick YouTube search will demonstrate that fact. And this summer a recall of 1.4 million Fiat Chryslers took the spotlight after vulnerabilities related to the model’s Uconnect system leading to engine control were found to put drivers at risk. (It is important to note here that the actual number of car hacks has been insignificant; a recent Forbes piece detailed the overblown hype around this worry. However, the media frenzy around car-hacking is raising important red flags for auto makers and consumers alike.)
Many equipment manufacturers — not just the auto ones — have a hand in creating an internet-connected car. Intel announced on Sunday that it is developing a review board for cyber security “best practices” related to its equipment used by the car manufacturers with which it works (BMW, Infiniti, and Hyundai among them). The board has been dubbed the Automotive Security Review Board (ASRB) and is aimed at helping “mitigate cybersecurity risks associated with connected automobiles while encouraging technological progression and innovation,” announced Intel. The ASRB will include “top security industry talent” from around the world with “expertise in cyber-physical systems” as well as researchers who will perform ongoing security tests and audits “intended to codify best practices and design recommendations for advanced cybersecurity solutions and products to benefit the automobile industry and drivers.”
Chris Young, senior vice president and general manager of Intel Security said in the company’s statement:
We can, and must, raise the bar against cyberattacks in automobiles. With the help of the ASRB, Intel can establish security best practices and encourage that cybersecurity is an essential ingredient in the design of every connected car. Few things are more personal than our safety while on the road, making the ASRB the right idea at the right time.
And timing does seem to be of importance here. Intel’s announcement cites a Gartner prediction: By 2020, the number of connected passenger vehicles on the road in use will be about 150 million, and “60% to 75% of them will be capable of consuming, creating and sharing Web-based data.” Intel is making its latest security move in the nick of time.