How big of a problem can hacking connected vehicles actually be? Big enough for the FBI and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a warning in March to manufacturers and the public about maintaining awareness of the potential issues and cyber security threats related to connected vehicle technologies in modern vehicles.
Now, NAFA Fleet Management Association has issued a white paper to help prepare fleet owners on the potential risks.
“Cars and trucks today are more like ‘computers on wheels,’ as they rely more and more on technology for performance and convenience than ever before,” according to NAFA Chief Executive Officer Phillip E. Russo. “For fleet professionals, the rapid growth of vehicle connectivity presents challenges, as well as opportunities. For all drivers, the way North American roadways — and indeed, global roadways — function will be drastically different sooner than anyone imagines. This is a conversation that NAFA has a duty to be part of.”
The white paper says cyber vulnerabilities in vehicles “present challenges for fleet management in being able to continue utilizing new technology, while also ensuring that the fleet is protected from malicious or criminal activity.”
The white paper adds that NAFA will collaborate with the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center to “establish communication protocols for the exchange of information related to cyber incidents.”
It also advices fleet managers to prioritize cyber security as vehicles become increasingly connected and autonomous.
The white paper addresses areas besides security. For example, it advises fleet owners to develop fully transparent policies around privacy and data ownership as telematics systems allow for new types of data collection.