1 September 2015
Within a remarkably short time, cybersecurity has become one of the biggest pain-points for automotive companies today. Recent high-profile zero-day attacks (and the ensuing media frenzy) have left OEMs and suppliers around the world in a state of fear and uncertainty over their capacity to defend against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.
They are right to be worried. But while it’s vitally important to be well protected against attacks, it could really pay dividends to look at automotive cybersecurity from a different angle. In fact, handle it right and security represents an opportunity for OEMs, suppliers and connected service providers alike to add extra value to their products and services. Think about it:
- automotive companies that can assure their customers and stakeholders that their products are functionally safe and their information properly protected are more trustworthy in the eye of industry partners and the vehicle-buying public;
- better cybersecurity leads to more robust software overall, meaning fewer recalls and lower costs from IT failures;
- visible compliance with privacy regulations will serve to strengthen the integrity of OEM’s brand reputations.
Automotive companies cannot escape the technological and market forces that are pushing them to transition from being manufacturers of largely self-contained mechanical devices, to providers of connected, IT-driven products and services. By embracing this change; by investing in cyber-resilient product development and business processes and especially by putting information security front-and-centre, OEM’s have the chance to take the growing threat of vehicle cyber crime and turn it into a genuine competitive advantage.
The ones who succeed will set themselves apart from their competitors and earn a new kind of trust from a new generation of consumers whose values were forged more in the information age than the industrial age.
Author: Ian Dickie