Automotive cyber security must be efficient, scalable and foolproof, says Kaspersky

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Vehicle exteriors have undergone sizeable changes over the last ten years, but the real transformation has taken place under the hood. One change is the sheer number of electronic control units (ECUs) modern vehicles contain. Today’s high-end vehicle can require as many as 100 ECUs to function as intended. Complex computing operations such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving will only add to the required computing power. Though these ECUs can enable connected services or automated driving, every additional link in the chain opens up potential cyber security flaws.

“The autonomous, connected, electric and shared (ACES) trends bring new requirements which modern automotive operating systems need to be capable of handling,” Ilya Efimov, Head of Technology Solutions Development, KasperskyOS told Automotive World. As he detailed, ADAS functionality requires significant computing power. While this power can be integrated, Kaspersky is concerned over the potential vulnerabilities which could be unlocked within safety-critical components. “As more cars are connected to the internet, it is clear that modern internet threats that we see on desktop computers or mobile devices will come to automotive too. Connected cars open a new attack vector,” he added.

Adaptive security

Kaspersky is no stranger to cyber security, and to tackle this new field it has developed the Kaspersky Automotive Adaptive Platform. The company says it offers a software development kit (SDK) with a ‘security-first’ design specifically for automotive, based on the company’s own operating system, KasperskyOS. “We see that this platform will be a solution for automotive vendors to reduce their cost. As the cyber security trend grows in automotive, our operating system is a great fit to combat a rising problem,” said Efimov. “Right now we have a version that automotive developers can use to develop their own applications, and we’re working on launching it commercially next year.”

“As vehicles start to communicate with other vehicles, with road infrastructure, with the wider network, they will also need additional cyber security solutions”

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