Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc (GOOG) Should Focus on Security in Car Infotainment


The modern automobiles are not just about embedded electronics. They feature cutting edge infotainment systems that can be compatible with different operating systems. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s CarPlay is an example of integration of car infotainment system with iOS. Such complex network systems might leave the system vulnerable to cyber threats.

Auto Evolution and Need of Cyber Security

It has become a habitual practice for car manufacturers to focus on mechanical parts, design and other features. But the auto industry has evolved from creating just a transport vehicle to provide intelligent integrated systems that takes care of navigation and provides users with interactive interface. Such interfaces have now become smart.

Satellite navigation is a well set trend, but a present day infotainment system provides full connectivity options. The user can connect his smartphone to the infotainment system at the car and do various tasks by using his smartphone.

Recently the car industry witnessed the launch of Hyundai Sonata which used Android Auto, a system compatible with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android operating system. It allows for integration of smartphones running on Android with the infotainment system of the car. While these advances may be fascinating, the need of cyber security immediately becomes apparent.

The Cyber Security Scenario

Cyber security has been neglected by automakers for many years. It is not until recently that some car manufactures have decided to test the system security of vehicle before launching their product. The companies are inviting experts to test their systems.

There is no standard practice when it comes to cyber security. Magnus Gerisch, from the consulting firm Capgemini, commented that the current level of cyber security used in the automobile industry is vulnerable to attack. He added that more needs to be done if the industry wants to avoid a security disaster.

Some companies are trying progressive approach towards the security. Tesla Motor Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has created a program called Bugcrowd that invites security experts to find bugs in their system. Such initiatives offer security assurance.