A few years ago, I had given a presentation on how increasing use of computer systems in cars, makes us vulnerable to increased risk of malicious hacking into the computer system and taking up total control of the car, i.e. how the Car Computer System Hacking is becoming an increasing threat to individual and public safety. The hacker could then steer the car and even if you are right there inside the car, you would be unable to prevent safe and appropriate use of your own vehicle.
I read this news article today on CBC, titled: Toyota, Lexus owners warned about thefts that use 'relay attacks', where they were saying how car thieves are using some kind of an amplifier equipment which allows them to boost the key fob radio signal (even if the actual fob is within the car owner’s home) of certain Toyota and Lexus cars, start the vehicle and also be able to drive off with it!!
At the present time, hackers are using this to target and steal more expensive cars such as consumer-favorite Toyota models as well as high-end Lexus vehicles.
But in today’s day and age where terrorists and other anti-social elements are increasingly using cars as a “weapon of destruction” by rampaging into crowds, car computer system hacking should be taken up very seriously by various government authorities, not just from a consumer-security perspective, but also from the public security and safety standpoint.
It is high time that we have appropriate anti-hacking software and other device/application to monitor the safety of our car’s computer system.
Once we start discussing ‘monitoring’, we inevitably have to discuss privacy implications. With the increasing use of computer security systems in our homes and offices, there needs to be proper governance regulations around how consumer privacy, safety and security is monitored and managed. Which further means that there needs to be a comprehensive Governance & Controls model to ensure fair-use management of innovative consumer technology systems.
As of now, authorities ‘react’ after hacks and thefts have taken place. Which means, our rules and regulations play catch-up to such breaches and assaults, instead of proactively monitoring and curtailing such occurrences from happening in the first place.
Given our increasing drive towards innovative information technology products, can we incorporate Audit, Governance & Controls as part of the design thinking lifecycle?
How can innovators work with the various authorities (government, industry-specific and so on) to chalk out viable Rules of Engagement- where creativity is protected and fostered, but at the same time, innovators are given a Security-Governance framework which they can incorporate to proactively address potential privacy and security challenges.
Some questions to think about as we strive ahead towards an increasingly connected and information governed society…
About the author:
Sandhya Bhat MSc, CSSMBB, CSSE is the Knowledge Expert & Lead Editor for Macro2Micro Learning portal. You can read more about her work by visiting her website. You can engage with her via our contact form.
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