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NMW2017: Kaspersky Lab, AVL Software & Functions GmbH introduce secure-by-design connected cars

In response to the rising cybersecurity challenges facing the connected and autonomous car industry, Kaspersky Lab and AVL Software and Functions GmbH have unveiled the Secure Communication Unit (SCU) at New Mobility World / IAA 2017 in Frankfurt on September 13. The security solution prototype demonstrates the possibilities of interference-proof communication between car components, the car, and its external connected infrastructure, making connected cars secure-by-design.

With each generation, cars are incorporating new intelligent technologies for remote diagnostics, telematics, automated and autonomous driving, remote driver assistance and infotainment.

Based on electromechanical vehicle actuators, car controls are becoming more and more complex cyber-physical systems with multiple sensors, controls, applications, subnets and communication modules that interact with other vehicles and their environment.

Their functions can be controlled remotely, via digital systems. Because of this, connected cars are becoming more of a target for cyberattacks.

The rising number of third-party applications and the system complexity in connected cars, as well as the increasing dynamic in software update cycles making use of over-the-air updates, makes it difficult to test the complete system to be sure that no bugs, backdoors and architectural issues are overlooked.

The role of the Secure Communication Unit is to make connected cars secure by-design, regardless of the third-party software and systems on board.

The SCU is a communication gateway control unit, connected to several subnets and/or gateway-controllers to these subnets within the car network, acting as a single secure gateway for incoming and outgoing communication flows.

Based on security policy enforcement and strong separation to prevent unwanted contact between various car components, the software helps ensure proper interference-proof communications within the car network.