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Cyber security – high alert against attackers

Cybersecurity. What we develop moves you. Safety and security always come first in the automotive industry. And the way that mobility is being revolutionized by automation, digitization and connectivity means that the demand for security engineering is also growing. At IAV, cybersecurity issues are being addressed by more than 200 experts from all areas, topics and divisions.

Today, nobody can launch a system on the market without considering security aspects, says Kai Feuerstake, Senior Vice President for Hardware and Software Development as well as Security. IAV provides support for all aspects of security engineering by identifying attack vectors, defining security systems, implementing measures and testing whether the measures were successful.

“There is a great demand for security engineering that it is growing all the time. Needless to say that we want to be the top partner for all relevant manufacturers.”

Kai Feuerstake — Senior Vice President Security and Hard- & Software

Working flat out against attackers

A vehicle has many interfaces that can be attacked, while the systems are getting more complex all the time. Together with the automotive sector and other partners, IAV is working flat out at validating new systems and technologies. Hacking a vehicle isn’t as easy as it is often made out to be. It’s a long, hard job, says Feuerstake. As far as he knows, there hasn’t been a widespread attack against an entire vehicle fleet yet, at least up to now.

“We're constantly looking at how systems can be compromised with new methods and are regularly exchanging ideas with internal and external experts.”

Kai Feuerstake — Senior Vice President Security and Hard- & Software

Secure loss of control

The arrival of autonomous vehicles will make security engineering even more important. Once brakes and steering are digitized, the driver hands over control of the vehicle and can no longer intervene, even if the system is manipulated. There are opportunities and risks in every technology. But Feuerstake is convinced that the whole security issue can be brought under control. In the end, we’ll get used to handing over control, like we do when flying or travelling by train.

“I am absolutely convinced that we won't have to worry about security in the vehicle in the future.”

Kai Feuerstake — Senior Vice President Security and Hard- & Software

One step ahead

Just as the state of the art advances, so do the possibilities for potential attackers. But IAV is fit for the future: the hacker community is monitored carefully, and the team goes through additional training all the time. “Of course, there will be new challenges ahead”, says Kai Feuerstake. But he is convinced that our vehicles will continue to be safe and secure in future.

What is it like to work in this field?

Learn more in our employee portrait of
Dr. Felix Lindlar