As automakers realize that as vehicles become more connected, cybersecurity becomes their number one priority.
Fremont, CA: Cyberattacks are ubiquitous and increasing in number every year. Even the automobile industry is influenced by it. Connected cars have been the target of hackers and on numerous occasions, were successful. However, few of the ethical white-hat intention hackers were able to gain full control of their target car’s operation. This incident reveals the apparent truth that there are a handful of cyber-security experts to defend the automobile sector.
Experts say that more features in automobiles provide a broader attack surface to the intruders. The wireless features of vehicles make the attack less risky for hackers as it is difficult to deduce if someone is trying to attack something. The communications director at the Association of Global Automakers, Annemarie Pender, believes that the carmakers and solution providers are not to be blamed for the shortage of skilled cyber-security experts. “As automakers realize that as vehicles become more connected, cyber-security becomes their number one priority,” says Pender. Thus, the industry is taking proactive measures to secure the integrity of vehicle systems. Hiring cyber-security talent is as tough as for any other industry due to the high demand for expertise.
The Automotive Sharing Analysis Center (Auto-ISAC), the partnership comprised of major auto industry players, performs knowledge exchange and brainstorms strategies about auto cyber-security of a vehicle and its components. The organization conducts routine cyber exercises and training with its strategic partners. Auto-ISAC is also working on a project to do cyber-security certified training.
Training is crucial, but the demand for experts is immediate, and it is expensive. A talented and seasoned white-hat hacker charges 25 percent higher than professional occupations category ethical hackers. Apart from money, proper culture fit would help the automotive industry to find more cyber-security talent. However, automakers with decades of presence and corporate cultures and structures have become inflexible and unadaptable overtime. On the other hand, hackers belong to an anarchical background to some extent and clash with hierarchies and authority.
The rigid automakers face challenges while recruiting such as they are restricted in the salaries and the office locations they provide, which make it difficult for them to compete for established talent. Companies flexible in hiring have a better chance of attracting top cyber-security talent. This requires a shift in the established corporate culture and being adaptable to the changing need.