3 Automotive CyberSecurity Facts for Those Considering Auto Technology School
August 12, 2016
Students who receive auto technology training understand how cars are made
Technological advancements are popping up faster than any of us could have anticipated. The world today looks different than it did even five years ago, and has changed multiple times over the course of our lives. Cars have gone from fully isolated transportation vehicles, relying on fuel to power them, to being completely integrated and inter-networked (and sometimes electric) transportation systems capable of connecting to your phone, providing navigation, and even facilitating the function of driving for you.
Newer models of these cars have semi-autonomous driving features that assist the driver. These features range from blind spot detection (using mirrors and sensors) to distance-monitoring assistance and parallel parking aids, among others. While these advances are great, they also create multiple new cyber-security issues; issues of which most car owners should be aware.
Are you interested in the auto technology industry? If so, read on for three cyber-security facts you should know.
1. Training in Automotive Industry Skills Means Understanding the Network
Think of a long stretch of highway road with multiple exit and entry points. That stretch of road is a car’s network, with each exit and entry point belonging to different functions in the car’s fully-integrated network, from music to navigation to braking. All of these points are interconnected by and affect one another through the highway. In the same way a dangerous driver threatens everyone on the road by causing accidents, gridlock, and entry/exit closures, a malfunction with one of these points could potentially cause problems with other interconnected systems.
If you’re interested in auto technology school, it’s important to understand how interconnected the system is, how much information it relays, and how easy it is to hack the network. All it takes is a single entry point to have access and gain control over every separate feature.
Students at auto technology school are taught how the car’s network is set up and interacts within itself
2. Carmakers Sometimes Don’t Even Know the Entire Source Code of their Vehicles
Members of the automotive industry know that another potential security threat is due to the fact that carmakers like Mazda, Toyota, and BMW, don’t own or even know all of the source code (instructions and information embedded in the hardware and software) that goes into their machines. This is because second- and third-parties manufacture and sell certain pieces of the equipment to carmakers for assembly. As such, these specific parties know the source code of their equipment, while carmakers don’t, and vice versa.
As an effect of this complicated supply chain, there is an increased possibility that certain elements of the car might not work in complete sync with others, creating weak points that can be hacked or overridden by a foreign entity.
3. Students in Auto Technology School Know About the Rise in Complexity in Vehicle Programming
Everyone training in automotive industry fields is taught to recognize differing levels of sophistication and complexity between newer and older models of cars. For older cars, additional features could be put in by adding more wires under the hood of the car. However, for newer cars, the amount of wires is reduced because each specific wire can now control multiple different functions.
As the programming of these wires becomes more complex, more features could be added, because additional physical space isn’t needed. Instead, all that is required is an increase in Electronic Computing Units (ECUs). The higher the number of ECUs, the more complex the vehicle’s network, which means that it has more access points that need to be secured by developers; or, on the other hand, more access points for hackers.
Due to the rapid evolution in technology, the automotive industry is an attractive place to start a career
Recent technological advancements in the auto industry have made cyber-security a real threat, but there are positives as a result of these advancements, too. An example: the automotive industry is set to continue growing in Canada, which makes it an attractive career option.
Are you interested in receiving auto technology training in Vancouver?
Visit Automotive Training Centres (ATC) for more information and to see if this career is right for you!
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