Autonomous driving vehicles hog the limelight in automotive technology events. Connected cars like the Hyundai Venue in India are all the rage with the customers. People want to be connected with their cars as well as the virtual world at all times. Every automobile company is tomtoming about the new connected services which they are or will be offering; from audio streaming to navigation to switching on the car AC remotely to finding a charging station for an EV. Well, all this connectivity comes at a cost and that is the security of the network.

The world is full of corrupt minds working on means to control the new vehicles by hacking into their connected systems. In 2015, technology magazine Wired had demonstrated what can be done by hacking into a Jeep Cherokee SUV. Since then, cybersecurity for automobiles has become serious business. A hacked car will not only be an embarrassment for the manufacturer, but also result in damage to the brand as well as costs in recalling and updating the software. Thus, a number of automobile companies are developing cybersecurity systems and solutions for their cars.

Upstream, an Israeli cybersecurity company specialises in automotive cybersecurity has recently received funding worth US$ 30 million from Alliance Ventures, the venture capital arm of French Automaker Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. Hyundai and Volvo are also investing in the company for developing secure systems for their vehicles.

Upstream Vice President Dan Sahar told Reuters, “The problem on the mind in some boardrooms of the (automakers) is really what are the consequences and the risks that we now have in our cars once we introduce connectivity to them, no company wants to be the next one that that happens to.”

Yunseong Hwang, vice president of Hyundai’s Open Innovation Investment Group, said, “Security is the core element of the connected vehicle which we cannot compromise, Upstream has demonstrated how its optimized security technology can strengthen vehicle security.”