How do you truly secure the connected car?

article image

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2016

Like phone security, car data security is not always assured. Skilled hackers can and will find data and sell it to the highest bidder — or exploit it in other ways. Connected cars layer in an added risk to driving, as drivers’ well-being can be in jeopardy if something goes awry.

We’ve become accustomed to staying connected whenever and wherever we are. From Instagramming our exotic summer vacations to receiving alerts from our smartwatches about our next meeting — even ordering groceries via our mobile devices to skip the line — we have more than enough ways to stay tuned in 24/7.

For better or worse, the fear of missing out (a.k.a. FOMO) is real, and businesses are quick to capitalize. To integrate the connected experience into everyday situations, retail stores have installed beacons at malls to alert us of promotions. CNN and The New York Times can now alert us to the latest headline-grabbing news in real time.

A more novel and practical use case of how this is coming to life can be found in the healthcare industry. Last year, healthcare IT solution provider eClinicalWorks integrated its subsidiary, Healow (Health & Online Wellness) with wearable devices and fitness trackers. Through this integration, patient data from these wearables seamlessly integrates with personal health records. The synchronization instantly provides medical providers with the most up-to-date and useful information, taking healthcare service to the next level.

All this connectivity is great, but it has also blinded us to the associated risks of being online at all times. As 60 Minutes recently highlighted, connected devices — especially smartphones — are vulnerable to cyber attacks from hackers, so security is of the utmost importance. Just a little further down the road is the next major connected device: the vehicle. Admittedly, connected cars come with some well-founded safety concerns.

While most of us aren’t overly concerned about our phones and computers being vulnerable to the threat of a cyber attack, we cannot afford to become complacent in safeguarding our cars. The stakes are higher when it comes to our vehicles — so high, in fact, that the FBI and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shared a joint formal announcement cautioning drivers of the increased risks that come with connected vehicles.