BlackBerry (BB) Makes Recommendations to Secure Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

December 6, 2017 3:03 PM EST

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While the integration of technology and connectivity in automobiles greatly improves the driving experience, it also creates complex cybersecurity challenges for automakers. To address these new concerns, BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB) today laid out a recommended framework to harden connected and autonomous vehicles against cyberattacks.

"Protecting a car from cybersecurity threats requires a holistic approach," said Sandeep Chennakeshu, President of BlackBerry Technology Solutions. "Leveraging our experience as a leader in cybersecurity and embedded automotive software, BlackBerry has created a recommended framework to protect cars from cybersecurity threats. If followed, we believe vehicles will not only be secure but BlackBerry Secure."

Within this framework, automakers and their supply chains can deploy their technology choices to differentiate.BlackBerry's recommendation leverages the company's proven expertise in security and accounts for industry trends in connectivity and automated driving. The key points, outlined in the whitepaper titled "Cybersecurity for Automobiles: BlackBerry's 7-Pillar Recommendation," are summarized below. The full version of the whitepaper can be downloaded here.

1. Secure the supply chain: Establish a root of trust by ensuring every
chip and electronic control unit (ECU) in the automobile can be properly
authenticated and loaded with trusted software, irrespective of vendor
or manufacturer. Scan all software deployed for compliance to standards
and required security posture. Conduct regular evaluations of the supply
chain from a vulnerability and penetration testing perspective to ensure
they are certified and "approved for delivery."

2. Use trusted components: Create a security architecture that is deeply
layered in a defense in depth architecture, with secure hardware,
software, and applications.

3. Employ isolation and trusted messaging: Use an electronic system
architecture that isolates safety critical and non-safety critical ECUs
and can also "run-safe" when anomalies are detected. Additionally,
ensure all communication between the electronics in the automobile and
the external world are trusted and secure. Further, ECU-to-ECU
communication needs to be trusted and secure.

4. Conduct in-field health checks: Ensure all ECUs have integrated
analytics and diagnostics software that can capture events, and are able
to log and report the same to a cloud-based tool for further analysis
and to initiate preventative actions. Moreover, automakers should
confirm that a defined set of metrics can be scanned regularly when the
car is in the field, as well as be able to take actions to address
issues via secure over-the-air (OTA) software updates.

5. Create a rapid incident response network: Share common vulnerabilities
and exposures among a network of subscribing enterprises so expert teams
can learn from each other and provide advisories and fixes in shorter
time frames.

6. Use a lifecycle management system: Proactively re-flash a vehicle with
secure OTA software updates as soon as an issue is detected. Manage
security credentials via active certificate management. Deploy unified
endpoint policy management to manage applications downloaded over the
lifetime of the car.

7. Make safety and security a part of the culture: Ensure every
organization involved in supplying auto electronics is trained in
functional safety and security best practices to inculcate this culture
within the organization.

BlackBerry has developed and is developing innovative technologies, tools, and services for each of these 7-Pillars. The company will demonstrate its vision for connected cars and autonomous vehicles at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 9-12 (Booth #7523, North Hall). For reporters interested in meeting with BlackBerry, please email [email protected].

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