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Cybersecurity is a concern in all new-age vehicles

With electronics installed into vehicle consoles, GPS systems being used regularly, and even mobile technology being used on the go, vehicular cyber security has never been more important. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that while around 94 percent of highway crashes were the result of human error in 2013, the implementation of these cyber technologies make it possible to have other causes of accidents in the future.

What could happen with the increase in electronics and web interfaces in vehicles? Like any other technology on the market, cars and trucks connected to the Internet or networks can be attacked through the use of viruses and other technologies. Cybersecurity measures must be put into place for these vehicles to prevent accidents caused by the systems being overcome by malicious attacks or unauthorized access.

What is the NHTSA doing about these potential risks to drivers? Protective technologies are being put into place. The isolation of computer systems, for instance, reduces or eliminates the risk of a virus attacking. Real-time intrusion detection measures prevent hacking and unauthorized access to the vehicle. Real-time response methods are also important. These include ways to override a hack, for instance, like putting the car back into manual control and preventing the hacker's influence.

The final risk assessment area the NHTSA looks at is the assessment of any attacks to find solutions. For example, if your car was attacked by a virus, the information about that attack would be shared to all parties using the computer system, allowing the vulnerability to be exposed and repaired.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "NHTSA and Vehicle Cybersecurity," accessed Aug. 18, 2015

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