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Why a cybersecurity solution for driverless cars may be found under the hood

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Autonomous vehicles were one of the most talked about technologies in 2016. Ever since Tesla, Google and Uber put these vehicles on the consumer trend map,..
Autonomous vehicles were one of the most talked about technologies in 2016. Ever since Tesla, Google and Uber put these vehicles on the consumer trend map — as well as beer deliveries — I’ve been daydreaming of the day I might own one myself. Unfortunately for me, and the automotive industry, that day might not be coming too soon.
Wired reporter Andy Greenberg chronicled his “real-life” experience driving a hijacked Jeep Cherokee. Andy agreed to be the guinea pig for two St. Louis-based researchers, whom he refers to as “hijackers.” While Andy drove the vehicle, the two hijackers experimented with just how far they could hack into the vehicle’s computerized system. What started as a hijacking of the vehicle’s air conditioning and music ended with a disabled accelerator and a powerless driver.
Andy’s exposé highlighted just how easy it can be for a seasoned professional to hack into a car, and it drew national attention among consumers and law makers. Last year the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) released guidelines stating that automakers should make cybersecurity a priority. While most would agree that the NHTSA is correct in its guidance, there is one major problem: cybersecurity is a never-ending battle. Individuals with enough technical skills, patience and desire to profit will find a way around the latest security barriers.
What’s critical in the new world of constantly connected devices, particularly autonomous vehicles, is that we must take a holistic view of cybersecurity that goes beyond more complex encryption.
Assuming that the cybersecurity issues can be resolved in the next few years, autonomous vehicles will become one of the leading contributors to the Internet of Things (IoT). Similar to other IoT devices, like mobile phones and wearable fitness trackers, autonomous vehicles will also generate consumer data that will influence the way businesses, government and other policy makers operate. But like most connected devices in the IoT, the software infrastructures and data generated from autonomous vehicles will also become more exposed to risks.
In fact, Munich Re , the world’s second-largest reinsurer, found that 55 percent of corporate risk managers surveyed in a recent study named cybersecurity as their top concern for autonomous vehicles.

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