In an attempt to prevent cyber attacks on motor vehicles’ systems, the US Department of Transportation has released a set of best practices that automotive makers should abide by, to mitigate potential intrusions.
As today’s vehicles incorporate more interconnected technologies aimed at either improving safety on the road or offering new features to drivers, security researchers have demonstrated that some of these in-vehicle technologies can be hacked, and used to endanger passenger’s lives. While the purpose of the document is not to impose strict control, but to ensure that automotive manufacturers consider the risks of merging technologies into vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes the document will help develop a risk-based approach towards automotive cybersecurity.
“Cybersecurity is a safety issue, and a top priority at the Department,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Our intention with today’s guidance is to provide best practices to help protect against breaches and other security failures that can put motor vehicle safety at risk.”
Proposing a layered approach along with constant testing and cooperation between automotive makers, the department also focuses on employee trainings on cybersecurity best practices. Internal audits on everything from keyless entry to tire-presser control monitoring and entertainment systems are also recommended by the department, as NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind believes rapidly changing technology must be met with sufficient caution and control.
“In the constantly changing environment of technology and cybersecurity, no single or static approach is sufficient,” said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. “Everyone involved must keep moving, adapting, and improving to stay ahead of the bad guys.”
While most of the mentioned guidelines are part of already known best practices, the US Department of Transportation hopes that automotive makers will carefully consider them and start implementing them in both new and future automotive generations.