Cybersecurity Challenges to Pose Biggest Threat to Automotive Industry

The advent of technology in the automotive sector has transformed an ordinary four-wheeler into new equipment, offering various facilities. New features embedded such as app-based remote monitoring, internet access, and autonomous driving technologies have set new standards of expectations amongst passengers. Autonomous driving, electronic vehicles, shared mobility, and connected cars have increased demand.


However, these developments have posed a challenge for the automotive sector. Various instances of hacking connected vehicles have been reported. Therefore, concerns regarding the safety of connected vehicles have increased. Inability to address these risks can send forth a significant danger to consumer safety. Some of the critical security risks associated with connected vehicles are:

  • Vehicle Theft – Vehicle theft can become easy since digital car keys replace regular car keys. Digitization of keys can help thieves to gain unauthorized access to the vehicle. Further, managing digitized car keys can be another challenge for the vehicle owner. Validation to be handled carefully for an ‘unlock’ attempt, enrolment of key, and revocation.
  • Access to Personal Data- Increasing the number of sensors in vehicles makes it easier for hackers to access personal data such as; personal trips, location data, and other details.
  • In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) Vulnerabilities- Innovations in vehicles bring various benefits to drivers but are also accompanied by multiple security issues to cars and the consumer. Android and Apple offer vehicle-centric app stores, combining applications such as payment and social networking. However, the linkage introduces new malware attacks on the connected vehicle.
  • Mobile App Security Threats- With a rising number of apps being built to smoothen communication with the vehicle, the chances of a cyberattack on the connected car also increase. 75% of mobile applications fail security tests, reveals Gartner.
  • Connection Threats- Cybercriminals can easily target errors in a vendor’s implementation. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities using Wi-Fi, cellular networks, given that security at times is a secondary priority in connected cars.


Monitoring cybersecurity is essential to prevent the occurrence of such unethical acts against connected vehicles. Therefore, organizations should have cybersecurity-related information on potential threats, mitigations, and vulnerabilities. Regulation of cabin security and collection of relevant information can be made through internal and external sources. Internal sources include configuration information, information received from the field, and vulnerability analysis. External sources include commercial/non-commercial sources, researchers, and government sources.


Cybersecurity will eventually become non-negotiable in the coming time. Increased cybersecurity acts have already caught the attention of the automotive industry. The manufacturers can partner with commercial and independent expertise to find solutions to the prevailing threat in the industry, which is also the need of the hour.