BRANDED CONTENT: Understanding the vital role of 'pen' testing ECUs in automotive ecosystems

FEV Secure Labs - Establishing cybersecurity measures to counter possible external threats and vulnerabilities in automobiles with penetration testing.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 02 Jan 2024 Views icon5797 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
BRANDED CONTENT: Understanding the vital role of 'pen' testing ECUs in automotive ecosystems

FEV is a leading engineering and software solution provider to OEMs across the globe. In the fast-evolving world of automotive technology, FEV is empowering OEMs and suppliers to develop and test vehicles that are safe, secure, and resilient in the face of cyber threats. As the automotive threats continue to evolve, the critical role of Electronic Control Units (ECUs) must be emphasised. These highly specialized vehicle computer are the brains behind various vehicle functions, ensuring safety, performance and connectivity. However, their increasing complexity and integration into the digital realm make them prime targets for cyberattacks. How to ensure that these devices are adequately protected? That is where FEV brings penetration testing into play, an essential proactive security measure. Addressing the need to protect automotive digital systems, the company has launched FEV Secure Labs, focusing on cybersecurity and penetration testing. An increasing number of cyberattack attempts on automobiles show the importance of penetration tests and FEV Secure Labs.

What is 'penetration' testing?

Penetration testing, often referred to as "pen testing", is a comprehensive and methodical security assessment process. Its primary objective is to simulate potential cyberattacks on a system, network or device to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses. In the context of automotive ECUs, penetration testing involves subjecting these units to a group of tests, emulating various attack scenarios. The goal is to pinpoint security gaps that could be exploited by malicious actors and to fortify the system.

The importance of automotive penetration testing by FEV

Recent headlines have been peppered with stories of vehicles falling victim to cyberattacks. From remote control of steering and braking systems to data breaches and vehicle theft, the threats are becoming more sophisticated. Already in 2015 security researchers remotely took control of a vehicle's steering and braking systems, serving as a stark reminder of real-world implications of ECU vulnerabilities. Five years later, researchers hacked into another vehicle without any user interaction, demonstrating the risk of weak automotive security systems. And in 2023, hackers are able to continuously crack functions with a paywall barrier.

Upstreams global automotive 2022

Cybersecurity report states that 84.5% of automotive attacks were carried out remotely. Most of the attacks were done through the servers. As the number of EVs continue to rise, EV charging stations have become a growing battleground for attacks. As technology advances, so do the potential attack vectors, making it crucial for automotive companies to be proactive in safeguarding their products.

What FEV's 'penetration' testing can do:

The importance of penetration testing in the automotive industry cannot be overstated. Here are some compelling reasons:

Identifying Vulnerabilities: FEV's penetration tests reveal the weak points within ECUs and the broader vehicle network. This insight is invaluable in addressing vulnerabilities before malicious actors exploit them.

Regulatory Compliance: Various regions and governing bodies have introduced stringent cybersecurity regulations for vehicles such as UNR155 and ISO 21434. OEMs may have to incur fines and charges due to non-compliance and extra charges due to urgent security policies. Penetration testing by FEV is an essential step towards compliance and ensures vehicles meet industry standards.

Reputation Protection: Vehicle recalls due to security breaches can negatively influence an OEM's reputation. FEV's penetration testing can support with the preventative remediation of vulnerabilities, help OEMs protect their brand image and maintain consumer trust.

Risk Mitigation: Through penetration testing, FEV helps to reduce the risk of costly and potentially life-threatening security breaches. It is a proactive measure to safeguard not only vehicles but also the people who drive them.

How FEV Secure Labs can help

FEV Secure Labs is at the forefront of penetration testing for automotive ECUs. With a team of highly skilled experts and cutting-edge technology, the company is well-positioned to assist OEMs and Suppliers in securing their vehicles.

Expertise: The FEV teams consist of experienced professionals with in-depth knowledge of automotive cybersecurity, hardware security, wireless security and embedded security. They stay ahead of emerging threats and bring a wealth of expertise to every project.

Customised Testing and Methodology: FEV Secure Labs tailors penetration testing to the specific needs of each client. The company's experts understand that one size does not fit all and their approach is both comprehensive and adaptable. That's why FEV offers vehicle level, system level and component level penetration testing services. The four-phase approach at FEV. Our four-phase approach at FEV Secure Labs guarantees the quality and thoroughness of the penetration tests that are carried out.

Cutting-Edge Tools and Research: FEV utilizes the latest tools and methodologies to emulate a wide range of attack scenarios. The company's experienced researchers are focussing on uncovering previously unknown vulnerabilities, often referred to as zero-day vulnerabilities. Hence, FEV ensures to uncover vulnerabilities that malicious parties could exploit before they are publicly accessible, thus securing automakers against cyber-attacks.

Regulatory Compliance: FEV's penetration testing services align with industry standards and regulatory requirements such as UNR155, ISO/SAE 21434. Based on these standards, FEV supports OEMs and suppliers in meeting compliance mandates efficiently and prepare for vehicle type approvals.

FEV Secure Labs: A leading industry partner in securing the future of systems

As threats continue to evolve, FEV remains dedicated to its commitment to providing comprehensive penetration testing services. The engineering service provider's goal is to enable OEMs and suppliers to develop vehicles that are secure and resilient against cyber threats. In the age of connected vehicles and autonomous driving, the need for robust cyber security measures has never been clearer: the protection of automotive customers' brand and the safety of end users during their daily journey on the road. That's why FEV's penetration tests are an important part of today's automotive development process. FEV Secure Labs ensures that vehicles are not only a marvel of engineering, but also a fortress of security. Services range from defining an effective penetration testing strategy that achieves compliance goals to performing security testing at vehicle, system and component level. FEV Secure Labs also help to ensure the reliability and safety of vehicles for both authorities and end users. For customers in the automotive sector, a partnership with FEV Secure Labs means that they can secure product approval and increase sales at the same time. State-of-the-art tools are used to ensure that vehicles meet industry standards and exceed customer expectations in terms of safety and reliability.

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