Intel IoT Secures Connected Cars from the Dashboard to the Data Center

Woman driving

It’s time for the Monday morning commute. As you reach your car, its sensor array uniquely detects you, adjusts all settings to your preferences for driving to work, and identifies the best route to the office.

Once inside, you select connected mode so you can finalize the presentation for today’s meeting with your boss. The file appears in the center console display for you to edit, and while you use voice instruction to initiate a collaboration call with a coworker to update key slides, your car is avoiding traffic congestion and slightly adjusting the brakes due to the drizzle that has started. Thanks to vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications—enabling traffic to shift and move like a school of fish— your route adjusts automatically to avoid a nearby accident.

Not only that, since driver-state awareness monitoring sensors can detect that you’re feeling stressed about the coming meeting, your car routes incoming calls to voice mail and activates a calming playlist to help elevate your mood as you finish your presentation.

At the office, your car parks itself in a recharging bay, uploads the presentation to the office network, and locks itself behind you. Then it emails your coworkers to let them know you’ll arrive shortly.

Imagine that: Your car is not only your transportation; it’s become part of your productive team.


IoT Security: the foundation of connected cars

That connected car vision requires a coordinated and innovative system of systems to ensure that our vehicles are sound, and capable of getting us safely to our destination. Every time. Whether we’re driving one or 100 miles. And that vision needs security that is contextual, adaptive, and comforting. That protects you, your vehicle, and all of its data, from the door lock to the data center.

That’s not easy. We all know that cybercriminals are increasingly sophisticated and brazen in their attacks. And each new or enhanced connected feature in our cars creates ever-more hackable and exposed attack surfaces. These expand when we consider that emerging car usages extend from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to fleet management, smart transportation, and connected driving, as well as to the communications mechanisms and protocols that connect them.

Connected Car Infographic Showing Ecosystem

Secure cars need protection at every level, across that entire system of systems. Automotive computer security, then, needs to evolve into a collaborative set of defenses that detect, isolate, protect, and correct identifiable or avoidable threats while also protecting drivers and automakers from previously unknown or unavoidable threats. No small task.


Protecting systems of systems

This requires layered protection spanning many systems. As described in Intel’s new white paper, Automotive Security Best Practices: Recommendations for Security and Privacy in the Era of the Next-Generation Car, “With next-generation cars, these layers include hardware-based protection in and around the ECUs [electronic control units], software-based in-vehicle defenses, network monitoring and enforcement inside and outside the vehicle, cloud security services, and appropriate data privacy and anonymity for bumper-to-cloud protection. The key tenets of data privacy and anonymity must be safeguarded while ensuring the security of the automobile.”

Infographic showing the building blocks of a securely connected car


This also requires focused collaboration across the automotive industry. Intel is part of a large and vibrant ecosystem delivering components to the automotive industry, including hardware, software, security processes from silicon to cloud, human-machine interface (HMI) designs, and user experience (UX). A key player in the evolution of computers as Internet security emerged, Intel is a long-established leader in security, standards, and threat mitigation. The Intel IoT ecosystem is in a unique position to collaborate with the technology, security, and automotive industries to advance the analytics, research, standards, and best practices for more secure driving experiences.


Building best practices to support IoT growth and safety

That’s why Intel founded the Automotive Security Review Board (ASRB). We’re calling on industry experts to help us keep cybersecurity risks in check, even as we collectively accelerate technological innovation. The ASRB will conduct ongoing security tests and audits so that, together, we can build best practices and encourage making cybersecurity an essential ingredient in the design of next-generation connected cars.

It’s this shared learning provided through transparent methods that will help this complex ecosystem evolve more rapidly to address emerging threat models. With over 100 ECUs seen in today’s luxury brands, the number of attack surfaces has grown enormously. Design principles are required that consolidate attack surfaces to reduce vulnerabilities and increase value for the auto industry—providing here-and-now cost benefits and making safer and more secure vehicles.

Intel is inviting industry experts to comment on our new white paper, Automotive Security Best Practices: Recommendations for Security and Privacy in the Era of the Next-Generation Car. We’ll publish revisions based on feedback and ASRB findings.


An IoT ecosystem worth securing

Connected driving, like many prior technological innovations that Intel has been a part of, will change the world in ways we’ve only begun to imagine. From improved safety to increased efficiency and productivity for individuals and whole communities, the car, the network of cars, and all of the things communicating with them are poised to become a powerful set of compute engines that will make our lives easier and better.

Starting with a foundation of security is a requirement.

To learn more about what Intel is doing to move the automotive industry forward, visit To stay up-to-date with Intel IoT developments, keep your eyes on this blog, our website, LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.



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About Craig Hurst

Craig Hurst is the Director of Strategic Planning and Product Management within Intel’s Transportation Solutions Division. He is responsible for transportation HW and SW roadmaps, ecosystem strategies, GTM plans and overall platform success across the connected transportation and logistics, software defined cockpit, and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving segments. Craig’s team is responsible for both the long term vision and strategy that maximize market value for safer and smarter driving as well as the near term product management and delivery of products that thrill and excite customers. Craig has held various director roles for strategy, marketing, and product management at Intel in divisions ranging from SW developer products, healthcare devices, and networking. His passion is to inspire innovation for new products, segments, and business models. In his ~20 years at Intel, Craig has helped deliver dozens of new products to market, many winning industry awards (including Intel’s first direct to consumer retail product, the world’s first UPnP certified residential gateway, Intel’s first FDA approved product, and Intel® RealSense™ Technology). When not at work, Craig enjoys fishing, waterskiing, travel, and perfecting a new BBQ or kitchen recipe. Craig holds a BSEE from Seattle University, and Certificate of Business Excellence from U.C. Berkeley.

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