The automotive sector has long been in the crosshairs of IT security experts, called to make smart cars safer. Artificial intelligence also comes to their aid.
Called Vehicle SOC, they are specialized Security Operation Centers (SOCs) which, thanks to artificial intelligence applications, are able to identify and analyze any threats aimed at the vehicle infrastructure: servers or management apps are in fact, constantly, potential victims of cyber attacks. Thus, if on the one hand there is much talk of artificial intelligence as a new risk environment for cybersecurity, on the other hand it is the same artificial intelligence that comes to the aid of security officers, in a particularly sensitive area.
In the broad world of the Internet of Things, the smart car industry is growing steadily and it is estimated that connected cars will account for 25% of all cars in the world next year. The cars thus become real data centers exposed to the aims of cybercriminals, for the most diverse reasons. For some time, manufacturers have had to focus on solutions that guarantee acceptable levels of safety, with investments that have become priorities. Cars are increasingly interconnected and use advanced technologies to transmit data to the parent company, the insurance company, the mechanic or the different suppliers. Ensuring the safety of these systems is essential above all to ensure the protection of passengers.
The specialized centers for the automotive sector are called V-SOC and thanks to the sophisticated technologies they are equipped with, including those that exploit artificial intelligence, they are able to report anomalies and attacks, identifying threats with specific threat intelligence on the type of industry of reference.
Given that various types of technologies, sensors and applications are installed on cars largely developed by external suppliers, the perimeter to be defended is broad and embraces the entire supply chain. Interventions in the security field are thus inevitably complex. There is not only talk of data theft, but also damage to reputation, production, up to the violation of laws and regulations.
According to statistics, most of the cyber breaches are detected after six months, but it is clear that in a sector as sensitive as that of cars, where the risk directly affects human lives, such timing is unacceptable. The managers of the car manufacturers had to turn to specific operating centers, capable of responding to the various safety and analysis needs required by the sector. Vehicle SOCs were thus created to offer vehicle monitoring services, different from traditional SOCs. Two solutions are adopted: extending the functionalities of the company SOC to also act on fleets or entrusting everything to a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). V-SOCs involve specific and well-defined people, technologies and processes. The necessary figures are certainly analysts, engineers, IT security experts, while the definition of processes is essential for the effective management of accidents as well as cutting-edge technology ensures efficiency, reliability and compliance with the reference regulations.