Automobil Industry Hungary: Smart security for smart automobiles

Editor: Theresa Knell

Information is the most important new fuel which acts as the driving force of innovation in the automobile industry. Data generated by smart vehicles can be used in several various areas for the development of products and services.


However, as the number of cyber-attacks against stakeholders of the automobile industry has increased six fold since 2014, information needs to be protected from unauthorized access. According to the experts of Micro Focus, data masking represents the best solution in this area, as this method protects information by creating continued analysis of data.

As vehicles become increasingly smarter, automobile manufacturers have vast amounts of data at their disposal. This refers to the means of transport, which gather and generate a multitude of various information from their environments detected by the sensors through locations and favorite routes right up to drivers’ behavior patterns. After processing and using appropriate predictive analytics, this data can provide valuable information in several various fields.

For example, automobiles connected to the internet are now capable of generating reports regarding their own mechanical condition. This makes it possible for them to provide notice of potential faults and maintenance needs in advance, thereby guaranteeing a higher level of safety for their passengers. The examination of drivers’ behaviors can also help automobile manufacturers offer more convenient and safer products to their customers. In addition this research also provides important feedback for the development and training of self-driving cars. Further, aggregated sensor data can be sold by manufacturers to transport organizations, thereby also providing aid in the design and maintenance of road networks, amongst others.

Both an opportunity and a threat

Automobiles equipped with smart features and an internet connection represent one of the most important, and also the most quickly growing segment of IoT, and are expected to generate significant value in the near future for users, corporations, and complete industries. According to estimates, the value of automobile industry related IoT will be near 83 billion dollars by 2022.

However, maintaining the security and confidentiality of data poses a significant challenge for the companies concerned. As already mentioned, based on the most up to date figures, the number of cyber-attacks against stakeholders of the vehicle industry has increased approximately six fold between 2014 and 2018. These incidents have an impact on all stakeholders of the sector, from manufacturers and their suppliers through fleet operators and car rental services to insurance companies.

In addition, automobile manufacturers need to ensure the protection of a huge amount of data; as automobile connected to the internet processes 5 gigabytes of data per hour. During Q3 2018, 24 such vehicles communicated using a single telecommunication carrier network in the USA alone. If this data is stolen or leaked, it could lead to serious damages and even in an environment where regulation is increasingly stringent. This is why IT experts need to guarantee that data is used both as quickly and efficiently as possible, and is handled securely, in line with the GDPR and similar requirements.

According to experts, the highest level of security is provided if sensitive parts of the data are removed even before it is transmitted to analytic platforms. One efficient method of doing so is data masking, during which some information is replaced with random characters. This has the advantage of retaining the data format, ensuring that it remains suitable for the creation of various analyses and statistics.

Experts are also saying that the highest level of security is provided if sensitive parts of the data are removed even before it is transmitted to analytic platforms.

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