NAFA releases cybersecurity whitepaper

Fears regarding cybersecurity and motor vehicles are a present reality, organization says

October 12, 2016
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Image: Thinkstock

Image: Thinkstock

PRINCETON, NJ—The increasing usage of digital tools, connectivity, and platforms in modern automotive products poses a challenge to vehicle drivers, owners, and those who supervise fleets of vehicles. Cars, trucks, and the “Internet-of-things” open multiple attack surfaces for hackers. With semi-autonomous vehicles and impending fully-autonomous vehicles ceding even more control to technology, NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA) is speaking out on the subject.

NAFA presented a webinar entitled Fleet Management and the Connected Vehicle on October 5. Continuing with this theme, NAFA has issued a companion whitepaper of the same title.

No longer just a subject of the science fiction genre, fears regarding cybersecurity and motor vehicles are a present reality demanding attention, concern, and an educated response, said NAFA.

“Cars and trucks today are more like ‘computers on wheels,’ as they rely more and more on technology for performance and convenience than ever before,” said NAFA Chief Executive Officer Phillip E. Russo, CAE. “For fleet professionals, the rapid growth of vehicle connectivity presents challenges, as well as opportunities. For all drivers, the way North American roadways—and indeed, global roadways—function will be drastically different sooner than anyone imagines. This is a conversation that NAFA has a duty to be part of.”

The whitepaper offers an overview of how and where vehicles can be compromised—through electronic control units, wireless communication, telematics, direct access to On-Board Diagnostic (OBD II) Ports—and presents a series of recommendations for fleet administrators. These recommendations also are proposed to legislators to start a conversation. The Association feels that there is an all too brief window of time to act, and wants to facilitate change before a major crisis occurs.

Fleet Management and the Connected Vehicle can be downloaded for free by clicking here.