The race against hackers to secure the cyber power grid
The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is here. After decades of hype, electric vehicles are finally starting to have their day in the sun. Over the past decade, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have gone from 16,000 to more than 2 million vehiclesand auto executives expect more than 50% of U.S. vehicles to be fully electric by 2030.
It’s not hard to see why experts make such an optimistic prediction. In addition to the growing fleet of electric vehicles, the bipartite infrastructure agreement signed earlier this year will include $7.5 billion to help plan and build an extensive network of electric vehicle charging stations across the country, a critical task to ensure full adoption of the technology. It took decades for the current network of gas stations to expand across the United States, and a similar process is now underway for electric vehicle charging stations. An infrastructure project of this size requires careful planning and significant investment, after all.
Lost in the whirlwind of electric vehicle use, bright expectations and plans to keep their battery topped up, lies a familiar challenge to many technologies in development: the cybersecurity of electric vehicle charging stations.
Earlier this year, a 19-year-old technical security specialist used a third-party software application to hack 25 Tesla vehicles in countries around the world. This was the first reported incident of a third-party app being used to hack into and gain full access to vehicle data and controls. Cybersecurity is a serious and deadly issue for Tesla, but hackers have always found a way to compromise their systems. As electric vehicles continue to grow and take over the road, thousands of potentially unprotected electric vehicle charging stations across the country are an attractive target for cyber attackers. Without a strong focus on cybersecurity, these stations could become a hacker highway.
Electric vehicle charging stations can be vulnerable to hackers if they are not equipped with agile and thorough cybersecurity measures. Essentially, electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a device that waits for another device to connect and begin communicating without a third-party firewall or other cybersecurity devices to act as protection, so the technology of cybersecurity must be integrated directly into the charging station itself. A third party is often needed to secure the technology as it tends to lack adequate cyber protection. The rapid adoption of electric vehicle charging stations also contributes to their vulnerability, as certain safety measures can be overlooked. As a result, charging stations for electric vehicles are appearing very vulnerable to hackers.
The best strategy for cybersecurity managers to protect charging stations from breaches is to continuously monitor for cyberattacks, both known and unknown. The use of technological solutions for the post-production phase of development, for example, is a crucial aspect to ensure the security of connected vehicles and the smart mobility ecosystem, allowing companies to monitor their entire infrastructure and their vehicles in real time, using the automobile. specific scans to detect threats.
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is just as vulnerable to cyber threats as any other connected device. However, the complexity and rapid evolution of technology puts it particularly at risk. It’s easy to forget that they need the same kind of protection to make sure they don’t leave open doors for cybercriminals. As the electric vehicle fleet continues to expand, it is imperative that we focus on advanced cybersecurity measures to keep everyone safe on the road and to secure the critical data contained in our vehicles.
Robert Nawy is CEO of Cyberpartners IPKeys, a provider of an industry-leading secure OT/IT intelligence platform that addresses the complex cybersecurity, data and critical infrastructure protection challenges faced by operators of customer-critical networks in the markets. energy, government, public safety communications and industry. The company’s suite of solutions encompass cybersecurity, cybercompliance and network operational monitoring for a range of dynamic OT/IT environments. The company is headquartered in New Jersey with offices in California, Louisiana and Texas.