The Importance of Making Sure Your Company’s Vehicles Are Equipped With Cybersecurity

What is Vehicular Cybersecurity?


Nowadays, modern vehicles are operating on a 5G platform that integrates data transmission into various aspects of operation. This new level of connectivity to the internet makes vehicles vulnerable to cyberattacks just like a smartphone.


Any computerized system connected to the internet is vulnerable to malware, viruses, spyware, and other hacks that can steal private data, corrupt data, or hijack the operating system to take control of a vehicle.


Lawmakers around the globe are working on strict regulations to insure that automakers act responsibly in protecting connectivity systems that are vulnerable to attacks. Nevertheless, even with computers, there are always holes in the cybersecurity systems that allow hackers to bypass defenses.


It is a constant battle for manufacturers to stay ahead of hackers who find novel ways to exploit vulnerabilities in any data system. The problem with internet connections is the open ports that are used to transfer data. It is difficult for computer programs to tell the difference between supported data and malicious data that can corrupt the device.


Hackers aim to make their viruses and malware programs as close to legitimate systems as possible to fool security systems. While most viruses require the owner of the device to intentionally download a corrupted file by opening an email or clicking on a link, some spyware can now be installed on even the most secure smartphones without any action by the user.


Pegasus is one example of a spyware program that can be silently installed on any cellphone to discreetly collect data. And it is now being used by the federal government to spy on us. Imagine what hackers are capable of doing if even the government has such powerful tools to bypass the most secure cybersecurity systems in the world.


Why is Vehicular Cybersecurity Critical?


While it may be an inconvenience to have your smartphone hacked, cyberattacks on a vehicle can compromise the safety of the vehicle and injure people. Modern vehicles calculate appropriate braking, steering, and acceleration based on real-time data that may be corrupted by hackers. Even the navigation systems can be hacked and lead drivers to take a wrong turn into oncoming traffic or far away from their intended destination.


Autonomous vehicles are particularly vulnerable because the driver may not be aware of any malfunction until it is far too late. One quick turn at highway speeds or brake failure can cause a fatal accident. A manual driver may be able to pull the emergency brake to mitigate any malfunction and escape the vehicle.


In addition, the same privacy concerns come into play with financial data and other proprietary information that companies need to protect. A failure to protect vehicles from cybersecurity threats can lead to costly lawsuits or destroy a corporation by robbing it of its trade secrets.


Cybersecurity attacks can also ruin the reputation of a company. If proprietary information is compromised and hackers obtain access to the personal account information of customers, for example, this can lead to public distrust and a grave loss of business.