Cyberattacks are happening more often across a variety of industries. Everyone is affected by the increase in cybercrime, although some industries are more vulnerable than others. The auto industry may be particularly vulnerable in 2023.

Attacks in the automotive industry can have an effect on consumers, automotive fleets, and automakers. As more fraudsters want to take advantage of the weaknesses in the sector, lowering these risks will be essential.

A Growing Problem

When 1.4 million vehicles were recalled in the first and only security-related auto recall to date in 2015, the need for automotive cybersecurity initially gained attention.

This followed a study that showed how a linked car may be remotely controlled by an attacker. Internet-connected automobiles and threats aimed at the sector have only increased since then.

After a ransomware assault in June 2020, a car company shut down most of its North American operations. Ransomware is the main tool used by cybercriminals to target the manufacturing industry. Auto manufacturing is a very lucrative industry, making it a seductive target.

With the rise in cybercrime and automobile vulnerabilities, this tendency is likely to intensify. If the car sector doesn’t adapt to new security requirements, it may see a wave of cyberattacks in 2023 that might seriously harm the sector.

Why the Auto Industry Is at Risk

One of the most important causes causing these concerns is connected autos. Attackers have more potential entry points and can cause greater harm within these vehicles because they include connectivity and autonomous features. These hazards will increase swiftly as sales of self-driving cars could reach a million units by 2025 and then soar after that.

Manufacturing processes that are connected present concerns for automakers as well. Other industries that have embraced IT/OT convergence have seen the emergence of this trend. After integrating Industry 4.0 technologies, 25% of energy businesses reported weekly DDoS attacks. As automakers use these systems as well, their attack surfaces will grow.

Additionally, the car sector is largely unprepared to handle sophisticated cyberattacks. Automakers might not be familiar with security issues and recommended practices because they aren’t used to working with sophisticated IT systems. With this knowledge, attackers might target them more frequently in an effort to make a bigger profit.

How to Prevent Auto Cyberattacks

Although these threats are alarming, effective attacks are not always possible. The sector can take a number of actions to stop them and lessen their effects.

1. Securing Manufacturing Processes

Automakers must first protect Industry 4.0 systems in their production facilities. The first step in transportation security is to designate a specialized security coordinator, following which automakers can handle site-specific concerns.

Network segmentation is among the most significant adjustments that need to be made. To prevent lateral movement, all IoT devices should operate on different platforms from more sensitive endpoints and data. It’s also essential to encrypt IoT communications and update default passwords.

These systems should constantly receive updates from the manufacturers, including updated anti-malware software. Insider threats could pose a serious concern, thus it’s crucial to restrict user access and educate every employee on basic security measures. Automakers should perform regular penetration tests as well because threat landscapes are continuously changing.

2. Securing Connected Cars

Correcting security flaws in the automobiles themselves is another aspect of automotive security.

There are numerous ways to protect linked cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), including a method for identifying and safeguarding vehicle systems that are essential for passenger safety that is risk-based. systems for quick detection and action. architecture to prevent breaches and make sure an attack doesn’t become harmful.

Internal computer networks in connected cars should mimic other corporate networks. System isolation and anomaly detection should be the primary objectives of intrusion detection systems. For this to be applicable in the context of a car, critical systems must be able to operate independently of connected features. Additionally crucial are firmware update verification and data encryption.

Security controls shouldn’t depend on users because of how dangerous vehicle breaches can be. For example, drivers should not be able to use weak passwords or refuse to install updates.

3. Securing Fleets

Another essential component of automotive cybersecurity is protecting fleets of company vehicles. Vehicle telematics systems should be secured by businesses and their security partners. Being pickier with devices and services is the first step in ensuring telematics security.

Before forming a partnership with a potential telematics provider, businesses should perform due diligence to make sure they adhere to strict security standards. Then, they should adhere to the concept of least privilege and further restrict access to these systems.

Businesses should segment telematics networks and upgrade these devices frequently, just like they do with IoT systems in industrial processes. In order to hold gadget makers to a higher standard, the automotive sector must mandate the inclusion of greater security measures like advanced encryption.

Automotive Cybersecurity Must Improve

Automakers are among those who are unaware of the critical need for automotive cybersecurity. Security standards inside the industry must alter as cybercriminals target it more frequently and aggressively.

Better security procedures must be implemented in manufacturing processes, connected vehicles, and telematics systems. If they don’t, it might cause millions of dollars in damage and potentially put human lives in jeopardy.