Cyber security must cover the entire vehicle lifecycle—and beyond

With vulnerabilities having potential ramifications across the supply chain, a comprehensive security management system is in order. By Freddie Holmes

Supply chain disruption is a daily struggle for any manufacturer in the automotive industry, but things have spiralled out of control in recent months. There are internal disruptions created by the semiconductor shortage and the provision of battery raw materials, but also situations outside of the automotive industry’s control, such as Brexit, COVID-19 and the Ukraine war. With all of this going on, the last thing anyone needs is to suffer a cyber attack, but this remains a very real possibility.

The challenge is that as vehicles progress through the development process—everything from initial R&D and testing to physical assembly and hardware integration—software is playing a growing role. From powertrain management, connectivity, automated driving and the provision of digital entertainment solutions, software is quite literally touching every element of the vehicle. Experts are concerned that all this software and connectivity raises the risk profile of the vehicle as it passes through the supply chain.

Connected, electric and automated technologies all present potential targets for hackers. The entire supply chain must adapt

Speaking in a recent Mobex webinar, Harald Petschnik, Business Innovation Manager for Vehicle Software & Cyber Security at AVL, described the process of keeping vehicles secure as a “never-ending struggle.” This is due to the fact that the security of a vehicle’s software-driven components is constantly evolving.

“Even in ICE

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