How to follow a standardized approach to Automotive Cybersecurity Engineering

Archer How to follow a standardized approach to Automotive Cybersecurity Engineering
Connected cars are changing the driving experience today. But how to manage all concerns with the cybersecurity risks? Moreover, you need to standardize this process, so need to know how to do this.

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There are expected to be close to 76 million connected cars on the streets by 2023, according to Statista. Before we get to that point though, developers and car manufacturers need to address the issue of connected car cybersecurity. In this article, we are going to talk about the importance of security and highlight some automotive cybersecurity standards that manufacturers should follow.

What is Cybersecurity Engineering?

Cybersecurity engineering refers to the process during which manufacturers, developers, cybersecurity, and quality assurance specialists identify potential threats and look for ways to lower the security risks. Being able to foresee risks helps developers come up with solutions and avoid security breaches.

Automotive cybersecurity software creates security for connected cars that will make their usage safe for the driver and others.

Why cybersecurity matters in the automotive industry

Cybersecurity in the automotive industry is an important issue. Connected cars are designed to facilitate the driver’s life and make car trips more enjoyable and safe. However, any car on the road is a potential source of danger for drivers, their passengers, and pedestrians.

In a nutshell, automotive cybersecurity matters because it is about keeping the life and health of people secure. Fortunately, top automotive cybersecurity companies, as well as connected car manufacturers, understand the danger that new technologies may pose. That is why Chrysler took back 1.4 million cars after the company realized that there was a bug that allowed someone to hack a car remotely and take full control. What’s more, the Tesla Model S’s infotainment system was launched with a bug that also allowed remote hacking and starting of the engine without the driver’s permission. These Tesla models were used for four years before the bug was uncovered.

Read also: 9 automotive industry trends after the pandemic

Key vulnerabilities in car cybersecurity

There are two main vulnerabilities in connected cars: data leaks and remote control issues. That is why it is necessary to protect a connected car from two points.

  1. The software powering the vehicle inside should be bug-free and there should be no possibility for remote control. Connected cars should always be programmed in such a way that the owner has full control of his or her vehicle.
  2. Mobile apps to complement the user experience should also be protected from hacking and data leaks. There are already a lot of concerns about vulnerabilities in Android and iOS operating systems, so connected car apps should be designed in a way to avoid them and to avoid in-app issues as well.

One connected car needs 200 to 300 million lines of code, each of which may potentially have bugs and mistakes. More code means there are more opportunities to crack it. That is why there are automotive security standards, as well as specifically-designed approaches to testing, that help developers make sure that they are going to launch a safe product that will contribute to positive user experience.

Read also: Driver Behavior Monitoring System: Why you really need it for fleet management

Automotive Cybersecurity Standards

Here are the main automotive cybersecurity standards that automotive cybersecurity companies, as well as developers assisting them, should follow:

SAE J3061

The main idea of this standard is to find vulnerabilities in the code before the project is launched. Instead of static analysis, this is a dynamic approach that also points out the best practices in development to avoid potential threats at the start of the process.

ISO 26262

The next standard is perfectly paired with the one above. ISO 26262 provides guidance on practical methods for eliminating functional threats. These two standards can be conducted at the same time since each of them can be applied in parallel at each stage of development.

ISO/SAE 21434

This standard is a key one for the creators of connected cars. It establishes the need to have a system for risk management, defines the structure of the cybersecurity process, and also provides rules for observing cybersecurity after the product is launched in the market.

UNECE WP.29

According to this standard, automotive manufacturers should maintain a certified cybersecurity management system and renew the certification every three years.

Basic approaches to Automotive Cybersecurity Testing

Providing cybersecurity in the automotive industry means developing special approaches for testing and quality assurance. They are much more complicated and well-thought-out compared to basic software testing methods. Here are the main ones:

IAST (Interactive Application Security Testing)

This is the main way to test mobile apps for connected cars in the early stages of development. he mistakes identified early are cheaper to fix, so according to this approach, apps are tested constantly during the development process. This approach makes mistakes cheaper to identify and fix and saves testing time as well.

SCA (Software Composition Analysis)

This testing approach in car cybersecurity is used when there are pieces of open-source code. Open-source code may consist of up to 25% of the app. That is why it is necessary to find code vulnerabilities regardless of whether the code was written by an internal team or supplied by external developers.

Read also: How is blockchain changing the automotive industry?

Conclusion

Connected cars are great innovations that are going to capture the attention of the market and become more affordable for average users. However, the more drivers that use them, the more data that will be produced every day, which means more potential illegal attempts to steal it. That is why it is necessary to prevent as many cybersecurity risks as possible until connected cars are in widespread use. It is impossible to prevent all issues since hackers come up with new tricks every day in response to each new protection method.

However, it is still possible to design safe software if you hire a reliable vendor to assist. Archer Software knows how to program and power connected cars in a safe manner, and we are always glad to share our experience. Drop us a line or write an email today!

Contact our team at info@archer-soft.com for more information.

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