Today, the world is advancing towards unknown limits of tech at a breakneck pace. We started with limited capacity vehicles featuring bulky engines and delivering restricted functionality. Eventually, we reached a stage where minimalistic and easily manageable vehicles became common. And now, we strive towards AV and CAV vehicles that require minimal input from our end and still help us travel conveniently.
As for the latest advancement, CAV vehicles refer to cars that can use technology to communicate with other systems and machinery. They may use AI to connect with road items, traffic signals, and similar objects. On the contrary, AV or Autonomous vehicles can function independently. Although these vehicles are not currently available, we eagerly look forward to them. They offer complete driverless operation and promise to deliver safe rides, reduced environmental impact, new products and applications for consumers, and revenue streams for auto industry companies.
Along the same lines, as we enjoy the growing convenience and wait for newer developments, we must not forget that with greater ease comes greater care and caution. And in terms of CAVs, the cyber breach is a significant concern.
What, why, and how – let’s evaluate how this can affect fleets (individual owners can also use some of the information).
What is a Cyber Breach Liability?
For understanding cyber breach liability, we must first understand the term cyber breach. By definition, cyber breach or data breach refers to the unauthorized access of computer data. It occurs either through system malfunctioning or when an intruder tries to break through security systems.
In CAVs, a cyber breach may occur through hacking sensors or invading radars. As obvious as it may be, intruders would do that to gain unfair access to some information or cause damage and harm.
The word liability means accountability in literal terms. Hence, the whole term translates to being accountable for the unauthorized transfer of valuable information or damage to the vehicle. Since this is not a desirable phenomenon and one must avoid at possible costs, here are eight tips to help you prevent it effectively.
Know Your Limitations
If you wish to prevent cyber breach liability, you need to know what can lead to cyber breach liabilities in the first place. And to figure that out, you need to analyze the product you’re marketing critically. You need to determine its crucial and vulnerable aspects.
Assess whether it’s the information shared via smartphone that risks the vehicle? Is it the traffic pattern? Is it some internal tech? Once you know what exactly makes the vehicle vulnerable, you’d know what security measures to take.
Get Yourself a Cyber Liability Insurance
Another great measure of prevention against cyber breach liability is to arrange cyber liability insurance. Categorized under the CGL domain, i.e., common general liability, these insurances provide compensation for any financial loss. It applies in case of damages and injuries caused to property or reputation by employees, company services, or business operations. Note that it may not cover the costs of any legal concerns that a cyber breach liability may give rise to in the end.
Setup a Response Plan
A response plan is something you use after the occurrence of a specific event. However, if you prepare it beforehand, it can serve as a means of prevention too.
How so? Well, while setting it up and planning things, you will unravel several possibilities that could lead to a cyber breach liability. Not only will you take measures to avoid such a situation, but you will also plan out ways to effectively deal with it. In this way, it’s a two-way preparation for both before and after scenarios.
While preparing a response plan, you will also determine which members will get involved in the process and the course of action they will follow. Thus, reducing the recovery time after a breach and reducing the damage caused substantially. You can even take the help of an attorney to craft effective plans.
Abide by Legal Regulatory Requirements
Connected vehicles are becoming increasingly popular. Naturally, the authoritative bodies across different states and countries are setting up laws and regulations to ensure efficient operation and maximum possible safety.
Hence, all CAV dealers should go through the report published by the Advisory Council in 2018. It directs the industry leads to ensure the safety of technology used in CAVs. It also encourages the sales and marketing department to educate the consumer about safe usage and precautions to take.
By implementing these, you will most likely keep yourself out of the cyber breach trouble. But even if you somehow get into it, you will at least have legal statements backing your stance.
Keep Your Workforce Trained
Just like a response plan, keeping your workforce informed and prepared to deal with possible risks will contribute to keeping unnecessary trouble away. In this way, you encourage them to improve their performance and avoid the possibility of cyber breaches on the whole.
Remember, the more transparent and direct the manufacturing process of a connected vehicle would be, the more proficiency it will promise. Thus, eradicating the possibilities of malfunctioning, collapsing, or inadequate security of the system. As a representative and dealer, you need to stay informed just as much as the manufacturers.
When a CAV comes together, it features the contributions of several types of field experts. For example, part of it will be the work of software manufacturers, while part of it would be the work of vehicle manufacturers. Hence, for an efficient and errorless compilation of the vehicle, which minimizes the risk of a cyber breach, communication between these parties should be transparent. Coordinating information about components and procedures can bring forth a better CAV.
Take Help of a Legal Advisor!
Should you fall into the nasty grip of a cyber breach liability, it’s time to prevent it from causing much damage. For that, you can make use of a response plan and take help from your trained workforce. But on top of that, you can reach out to an outside counsel as well, so they may help you get through it quickly. They will guide you about the laws applicable to your case and measures you should take to minimize the consequent litigations so against your company.
Lastly, get going! You’ve no time once a breach occurs. Even if you don’t have any prior preparations, don’t waste time figuring out the mechanism of things and creating a response plan. Instead, take the shortest route to rescue and take the help of a legal advisor if need be! Get things fixed first so that you can quickly sort it out later!
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
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For additional resources on vehicle cybersecurity, check out these additional Auto Tech Watch blogs from the National Motorists Association.