CARIAD's goal is to transform the car into a digital experience and integrate it seamlessly into our everyday digital lives. But achieving this goal requires connectivity, data exchange, and the vehicle's ability to exchange information with other participants in a digital ecosystem at any time and from any location. That is also the requirement to use a wide range of digital services – from vehicle navigation to automatic payments for charging and complex Car-2-X communication. However, without security - more precisely, cyber, data, and IT security – such concepts cannot be successfully implemented.
Markus Brändle and his team take on the car thieves of the 21st century
For a company like CARIAD, security is always a holistic issue that affects our solutions and our whole organization. That is where Markus Brändle, Head of Information and Automotive Security, and the entire security community at CARIAD come into play. They ensure that solutions from CARIAD contribute to a pleasant, comfortable driving experience – and, as a result, enable safe mobility.
Brändle has over 15 years of experience in the security sector and was most recently Head of Airbus CyberSecurity before joining CARIAD. “If we want to be successful with our mission to transform the automotive industry through digitalization, we must address security from beginning to end,” says Brändle. Hackers have become akin to the car burglars of the 21st century. Nowadays, anyone who wants to steal cars looks for ways to get in through the vehicle's software. If they do not find what they are looking for, the attackers may try to get in via the software of systems that interact with vehicles in a multitude of ways. To stay one step ahead of potential attackers, Brändle and his team must think about all these possibilities.
The time factor: why the automotive industry must be faster than others
People may wonder how the automotive industry differs from other industries in this respect. The simple answer is the time factor. Companies today react much faster to hacker attacks, when in the past it would take an average of 200 days before companies became aware of intrusions into their systems. In the meantime, this value has dropped to 11 days. But for the automotive industry and its products, this is not quick enough. After all, in the worst case, we are talking about threats to the well-being of our customers.
Therefore, security in a digital automotive world means speed to a great extent. Like any other sector or industry, the mobility sector will increasingly have to deal with security breaches and hacker attacks. It would be illusory to believe that a perfect system is possible. But we need to be quicker with our responses and put technologies and strategies in place to not only withstand growing challenges, but also set a standard for the entire industry. To this end, Brändle's specialist department, together with CARIAD partners, is developing monitoring capabilities to examine its own IT landscape, including both the digital ecosystem of the car and the IT of the car itself. It is building a defensive backend within the company to detect, analyze and respond to incidents as quickly and effectively as possible - whether in the context of its vehicles or the company's internal IT infrastructure.