Earlier this month, it was announced that McAfee and Panasonic are entering a joint venture to develop a security operations center (SOC) for autonomous vehicles. Both companies bring an extensive background of cybersecurity and automotive systems to the table, as they navigate this new frontier of technology. In recent years, the market for autonomous vehicles has significantly grown and it’s crucial for security and safety that their cybersecurity is made a top priority. Prompting from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and many large companies has also sparked the push to create a vehicle SOC (VSOC) as soon as possible. Although many automotive companies and cybersecurity experts are eager to develop this innovative technology, there are many challenges and unique skills required to create a successful VSOC.

Currently, autonomous vehicles have complex software and systems that haven’t been standardized. This leads to the first challenge of how to monitor millions of these vehicles when each one is so different in operation. Juggling various systems will result in excessive costs for log imports and numerous false positives as well. In addition, attack sensor installation and integrated monitoring into current autonomous vehicle software will all need to be developed with these different systems in mind. A final question that needs to be considered is how the “driver” of an autonomous vehicle should be notified in the event of cyberattack. With all of these challenges considered it will take IT and OT experts along with engineers to solve the complex hurdles that autonomous vehicle cybersecurity presents.

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