As connected cars gain traction, consumers are more concerned about their security

Nov 29, 2017

As rollouts and developments in the connected car space continue, consumers are becoming more fearful of their influence.

That is according to the latest study from Thales, in association with Wakefield Research, which finds that three out of five respondents – with 1,000 adults in the US and UK polled – say they are more concerned about the security of internet-based vehicle technology now than compared with five years ago.

In total, 29% of US and 24% of UK respondents said they were ‘much more concerned’ around the overall security of connected cars compared with half a decade previously, while 32% and 35% respectively were ‘somewhat more concerned’. Only 4% of those polled in both the US and UK said they were ‘much less concerned.’ When it came to specific security issues, the most concerning – and immediate – for respondents was the car’s technology failing, followed by viruses or malware.

With this fear comes the hope of regulatory intervention. An overwhelming majority – 87% of US and 92% of UK respondents – said they agreed that their respective governments should implement stricter data security regulations for connected cars.

Writing for this publication earlier this month, Remy Cricco, chairman of the board at SIMalliance, said that hacking of connected vehicles ‘cannot be overstated’. “It is imperative that the authenticity and integrity of the software and firmware within a connected car is not compromised, and that both can be updated regularly – sometimes even immediately – to counter attacks in a rapidly evolving threat landscape,” Cricco wrote.

“As adoption of connected cars and development of autonomous, self-driving cars soars, there is a tremendous business opportunity for automakers. However, with more connectivity comes new pathways for cyberattacks,” said Peter Galvin, vice president strategy at Thales eSecurity. “While we’re starting to see IoT and connected car regulatory frameworks in the US like the SELF DRIVE act, manufacturers should proactively consider these consumer qualms as they get ready to bring these cars to our streets instead of waiting for laws and regulations to pass.”

Read more: Connected cars: The road to security and flexibility

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