Why Security Matters in Connected Cars

The conversation around vehicle security has taken on a whole new meaning in recent years. What used to be centered on power locks and alarm systems has now shifted markedly to data security. One can argue the value the data that the car can provide is worth more than the car itself. Recent attacks in the online, smartphone and tablet market prompt the question of how we as an industry can ensure security, privacy, and intruder protection. Intel is committed to working collaboratively with the industry to tackle these important issues.

Security Questions

The reality is that the auto industry will face physical and virtual attacks on connected cars. The good news is that design teams across the globe are hard at work to provide built-in capabilities to protect drivers. Right now my team is exploring ways to ensure that:

  • Data received into the car is actually a clean piece of information
  • If bad data comes in, that it can be quarantined
  • If quarantine fails, that a baseline level of driving capabilities remain
  • Data is safe and private as it’s being transmitted, executed upon, and stored

The fact that we’re connecting personal devices to the car adds a new facet to automotive security. The challenge becomes greater when we think about multiple devices from several family members and even consider friends’ devices. Fortunately, automakers are ahead of the curve and they are making heavy investments in vehicle security and privacy features. It’s not just an afterthought, but incorporated into the initial development of future applications and devices.

Privacy Settings

The more connected our vehicles are with the cloud, roadside units, and other cars, the more information is shared to optimize use, meaning we’re ‘sharing’ our preferences, route guidance information, and other data. An expectation needs to be set that even though personalized and private data will be accessed, it will be secure from any unauthorized use set forth by the driver and owner of the data. Drivers should also be able to adjust privacy settings, dialing them up or down to choose how much information is shared based on the perceived value of sharing that personal information.

Integrating our connected, digital lifestyles into the car provides many benefits that result in a better driving experience. But there needs to be a level of trust established between consumers and automakers about how data is being secured and kept private before widespread adoption can happen.

See more information on Intel and the connected car

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