Cars are on the road and, now, in the airwaves as many new vehicles come equipped with on-board broadband Internet connections. A third of new cellular ‘customers’ last quarter were cars. With the added connections to the outside world, cars become connected targets, available to be hacked from anywhere.
Security companies are taking note and beginning to provide solutions. Symantec officially announced its Anomaly Detection for Automotive product in early June and is pushing it to various car manufacturers. The Symantec product is a passive solution which can be plugged into, or integrated with, the vehicle. Anomaly Detection fro Automotive learns the vehicles’ normal behavior to develop a baseline behavior. Once that baseline has been learned, it can be used in continuous monitoring of the vehicle to detect deviations from normal operation and inform the vehicle when it might either be under attack, or simply malfunctioning.
Symantec is also rolling out its Symantec Embedded Security Critical System Protection product, which helps lock down automotive control modules against runtime attacks. The Embedded Security Critical System Protection product runs on QNX, used in automobiles, as well as other OSes in industrial control environments and embedded systems. Symantec also has code-signing capabilities that it is already selling to automotive vendors, to ensure that authentic and verified code is running.
Symantec isn’t the only one to address this IoT space. Karamba Security has the Carwall product that it sells to manufacturers. Carwall integrates into the software development environment and hardens the runtime code that the manufacturer installs in the vehicle. We can expect to see other manufacturers enter this space as more IoT devices are introduced.
While Symantec and Karamba are taking things to the developers/manufacturers, I am waiting for others to address the existing vehicle market. We soon may be installing “Kaspersky for Kia” and “McAfee for Mazda” on Managed Services Agreement (MSA) clients’ vehicles.