When It Comes to Data in Motion, Securing Smart Cars & Smart Traffic Systems Needs More Intelligent Networking


MAY 2019

By: Matt Goggin

There are two forms of IoT solutions: there are fixed deployments, for example, smart factories, precision agriculture for smart farms, security systems for smart buildings, and connected homes. In these scenarios, connectivity is more predictable, and sessions can be secured with greater simplicity than the second form.

The more complex form, mobile deployments, include solutions for connected cars, autonomous vehicles, delivery and security drones, and more, require a security strategy that includes securing data in motion (even as the endpoints themselves are moving).

One of the most massive growth trends in IoT is happening in the connected car market. According to Allied Market Research, the Global Connected Car Market was valued at $63 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $225 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 17.1%.

This is a huge and rapidly expanding trend and shows no end in sight given the possibilities to continually improve convenience, performance, comfort, and safety, even as the next generation of drivers is growing up constantly connected to data.

But what about security? We’ve seen frightening examples of adversaries breaking into connected car systems. As the sophistication of connected cars (and the power grids they are connected to, and the traffic systems that guide autonomous vehicles) evolves, every participant in the ecosystem needs to address every layer of security, from the physical at the edge to the virtual in between the edges.

The threat of data hacking and the need for uninterrupted connectivity are very real, and left without real solutions, will hamper growth in this exciting IoT area.

Regardless of the network protocol or access type, nearly all “data in motion” for these connected vehicles will travel over the Internet, and likely a combination of the public Internet and secure private networks which are managed by software enabled by the public Internet but fully secured using virtualization techniques. There are many forms of connectivity in a single car, which can be embedded and integrated (for example a navigation system powering a self-driving feature) or brought into the vehicle through a smartphone mobile hotspot.

The “system-based” solutions, similar to OnStar’s early real-time communications and monitoring, is where manufacturers and service providers need better, more intelligent networks to reduce risks of hacking that could cause injuries and deaths. These systems are now far more advanced solutions including diagnosing the vehicle’s engine, transmission, axles and tires, locks and fuel levels and providing warnings to drivers about upcoming weather or other threats making the thought of them being hacked all the more terrifying.

Vulnerabilities including unauthorized access to the in-vehicle connectivity system, or a spread of malware through a manufacturer’s, dealer’s or service providers web-based management system means data can be not only connected but manipulated in real-time – while vehicles are in motion.

With so many upsides that lead to MORE safety (for example technology used to improve vehicle maintenance, security & safety measures, and assist the driver when the car starts to swerve or senses a sudden danger in proximity of the vehicle) it is worth figuring out how to ensure the networking between systems and vehicles is ironclad.

Standard approaches to networking all have one crucial flaw in common: they all use a single path to transfer data. To avoid this single point of compromise and congestion, a Dispersive™ Virtualized Network (DVN) does things differently and protects not only data at rest but data in motion.

We believe our DVN is the ultimate network technology for smart car, traffic control, safety and security, and Smart City systems.

Our DVN is a software-defined overlay network, with software on edge devices that intercepts packet data, splits it into multiple independent packet streams, encrypts each stream with a different key and then transfers each stream using a different path on the Internet.

With faster throughput than alternatives running on the same physical network, the transmission of data is more real-time, but without compromising security.  With built-in mitigation against DoS and DDoS attacks, dynamic thwarting of man-in-the-middle attacks, and ephemeral keys to encrypt each packet stream, our solution is built for mobility and addresses “the floating edge,” delivering the fastest possible throughput by selecting the optimum paths based on all available paths.

We employ layered security that virtually air gaps devices, data, and users with a built-in firewall, authenticating and authorizing every device before permitting network access and – most importantly – securing data-in-motion.

Just as traffic control systems improve the flow of connected cars, our network control systems distribute data traffic across multiple changing pathways to avoid DoS, DDoS, and man-in-the-middle attacks, encrypting each packet stream with a different AES-256 key.

By embracing this new higher level of secure, private connectivity, new mobility solutions become not only possible but practical, and support the momentum of breakthrough technologies in rapidly growing markets by ensuring cars and other “things” are not just secure while standing still, but while moving forward.

Contact me if you’d like to learn more about how Dispersive sees and secures a world of greater, safer mobility.

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