Reflecting upon the recent impact that a giant cargo ship (Ever Given) has made on world trade while blocking the Suez Canal and numerous global ports of entry, it is very relevant to consider aligning your organizational vehicle cybersecurity practices. Much like a single ship, a single vehicle point of entry or security vulnerability may have a domino effect on the vehicle ecosystem globally. This includes vehicle fleets spanning multiple manufacturers and developing vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure communications.
Approaching vehicle cybersecurity with a method derived from author Jim Butcher’s famous quote, “You don’t have to run faster than the bear to get away. You just have to run faster than the guy next to you,” is a near-sighted and dogmatic view which portrays cybersecurity threats as pursuing the weakest individual. This is problematic because the bear often catches the largest fish, not the slowest fish. All those involved in the industry are protecting cybersecurity together. Cyber-attacks are real-world conditions for road vehicles and not a single bear or single recall event of 1.4 million vehicles.
Using a program-level approach, I recommend that you view vehicle cybersecurity with the lens that the rising tide of capabilities and strategic sharing lifts all boats in the ocean or, in your case, the road vehicle supply chain. Emphasize and advocate for effective intelligence and information-sharing to facilitate adoption of lessons learned industry-wide. View cybersecurity as not a competitive advantage or cost center, but rather a core capability which fuels consumer mobility globally. Much like functional safety leading to a common capability such as safety belts or front and rear-end bumpers, cybersecurity will soon be associated with vehicles themselves. In closing, understand the approach you will take in floating your boat. Stop trying to outrun the bear.