Auto­mo­ti­ve cyber­se­cu­ri­ty: BSI pres­ents sta­tus report

At the start of the month, Ger­many’s Fede­ral Office for Infor­ma­ti­on Secu­ri­ty (BSI) pre­sen­ted its sta­tus report for the auto­mo­ti­ve indus­try (only in Ger­man), in which it calls for manu­fac­tu­r­ers, sup­pli­ers, deve­lo­pers and other ser­vice pro­vi­ders in the auto­mo­ti­ve indus­try to take the legal requi­re­ments with respect to auto­mo­ti­ve cyber­se­cu­ri­ty into con­side­ra­ti­on at an ear­ly date.

Accor­ding to BSI, sta­tu­to­ry requi­re­ments should ide­al­ly be incor­po­ra­ted direct­ly into the deve­lo­p­ment cycle of new vehic­le models. It sta­ted that, in gene­ral, the risk of attacks on vehic­les and infra­struc­tu­re has mul­ti­pli­ed with the trend towards digi­tiza­ti­on and con­nec­ted vehic­les. In par­ti­cu­lar, BSI names the incre­asing inte­gra­ti­on and inter­de­pen­dence in the sup­p­ly chain as a pos­si­ble ave­nue of attack. It notes, for exam­p­le, that atta­ckers may train their sights on sup­pli­ers in an effort to gain access to the sys­tems of the manu­fac­tu­rer, their real tar­get. This, in turn, would give atta­ckers access to com­pa­nies which them­sel­ves main­tain more sophisti­ca­ted defen­se mechanisms.

The gro­wing inte­gra­ti­on and inter­de­pen­dence of manu­fac­tu­r­ers’ and sup­pli­ers’ IT infra­struc­tu­re, and the asso­cia­ted risks, are evi­dent e.g. in case of attacks using encryp­ting Tro­jans (“ran­som­wa­re”). Not only have com­pa­nies repea­ted­ly been con­fron­ted with ran­som demands in exch­an­ge for decryp­ting their data, but enti­re sup­p­ly chains have sus­tained finan­cial dama­ges due to pro­duc­tion stop­pa­ges. In addi­ti­on, mani­pu­la­ted soft­ware and hard­ware com­pon­ents pose a sub­stan­ti­al risk for public trans­por­ta­ti­on, and may the­r­e­fo­re affect a lar­ge num­ber of peo­p­le. (only in German)

Regu­la­to­ry requi­re­ments for cybersecurity

With imple­men­ta­ti­on of the UNECE Regu­la­ti­ons, a sin­gle and bin­ding set of rules is now in place at the Euro­pean level for the first time with regard to cyber­se­cu­ri­ty and soft­ware updates in the auto­mo­ti­ve sec­tor, and the­se rules app­ly for type appr­oval. While most of the­se requi­re­ments app­ly to manu­fac­tu­r­ers direct­ly, they have an indi­rect impact on sup­pli­ers as well. Addi­tio­nal regu­la­to­ry requi­re­ments app­ly e.g. with respect to auto­no­mous vehic­les, for which major new regu­la­ti­ons were recent­ly adopted through the Auto­no­mous Vehic­les Act. In addi­ti­on, the Gene­ral Data Pro­tec­tion Regu­la­ti­on (GDPR) plays a key role with regard to the pro­ces­sing of per­so­nal data, and must be hee­ded in the pro­duct deve­lo­p­ment pro­cess as well. Moreo­ver, a Dele­ga­ted Regu­la­ti­on on the Radio Equip­ment Direc­ti­ve (RED), which is curr­ent­ly being pre­pared by the EU Com­mis­si­on, may estab­lish major new regu­la­ti­ons for the after-market and third-party providers.

Expe­ri­en­ces from our con­sul­ting practice

We have also noted the gro­wing importance of legal requi­re­ments for cyber­se­cu­ri­ty and data pro­tec­tion in the auto­mo­ti­ve sec­tor in our own con­sul­ting prac­ti­ce. For cli­ents in this indus­try, the chall­enge is to pre­sent the many dif­fe­rent (new) legal requi­re­ments for com­pa­nies in a struc­tu­red and las­ting man­ner, so that the fre­quent­ly abs­tract rules can be imple­men­ted in prac­ti­ce. We accom­plish this by working with our cli­ents to estab­lish a cyber­se­cu­ri­ty com­pli­ance manage­ment sys­tem, i.e. by adap­ting their exis­ting pro­cess land­scape so that tech­ni­cal pro­ces­ses reflect the sta­tu­to­ry and con­trac­tu­al requi­re­ments for cyber­se­cu­ri­ty and data protection.

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