BT extends cybersecurity offering to connected cars
Mon 20 Apr 2015
BT has today launched ‘Assure Ethical Hacking for Vehicles’, a new ethical hacking service to help improve the security of connected cars, reducing their exposure to cyberattacks and supporting the automotive industry in developing solutions to tackle the threat.
Whether for personal or commercial use, vehicles are becoming increasingly ‘smarter’ and offer a range of connectivity technologies including WiFi, 3G and 4G mobile data, Bluetooth and other wireless options – enabling features such as predictive navigation, infotainment, and efficiency monitoring.
The telecommunications giant hopes that the new initiative can help quell concerns that hackers will be able to breach car systems and control critical functions of connected vehicles. Others fear that the data gathered from connected cars, such as drivers’ habits, could be used for commercial purposes without the owners’ permission.
Udo Steininger, head of assisted and automated driving at Munich-based TUV SUD referred to the “complex challenges” faced by an evolving automotive industry: “Cars are equipped with a number of embedded systems that have not been designed to be connected to the outside world. The industry needs to join forces, including with suppliers, IT security specialists and certification bodies, to agree on a common approach to interfaces and security standards for the Connected Car.”
BT has built a strong global team of security experts, including ‘ethical hackers’ employed to imitate cyberattacks and test systems for vulnerabilities. The division advises on network weak spots and outlines recommendations on how best to confront hacking threats. BT now plans on extending this expertise to car manufacturers, insurance firms and other key automotive industry groups, in an effort to discover and patch connected car vulnerabilities before an owner gets behind the wheel of their new vehicle.
The ‘BT Assure Ethical Hacking for Vehicles’ service promises to offer a verified end-to-end security analysis of connected cars, testing and monitoring all of the smart devices and equipment which communicate with and from the vehicle, such as user interfaces, USB connections, and DVD players.