Hacked cars? General Motors takes cyber security to the next level

© General Motors

© General Motors

The implications of ‘hacked’ cars are hard to imagine, but it is beyond doubt that they can be disastrous for customers and manufacturers alike. According to Reuters, a group of well-known hackers and security professionals has advised automakers to implement basic guidelines to defend cars from cyber attacks.

With the proliferation of technology and the increasing computerization of cars, it is only a matter of time, experts say, before malicious hackers are able to exploit software glitches and other vulnerabilities to harm drivers.

This month, General Motors Co promoted its engineering group manager, Jeff Massimilla, to become their first cybersecurity chief, Reuters has reported. Mr Massimilla is set to be in charge of efforts to protect the computers that run GM cars.

GM Vice President of Global Product Development Mark Reuss commented on the new appointment:

“If you look at the technology… as we put semi-autonomous and autonomous systems into vehicles, we have to be able to look at this at a very very critical systems level and do it defect-free for the customer. So that’s the competitive advantage we’re trying to really put in place for General Motors.”

Car manufacturers are far from the only industry that will soon be looking to make security part of the hardware and software architecture. More and more products rely on minuscule computers to manage various functions. The Internet of Things (IoT) is helping users with everyday tasks, but its usefulness is matched by the opportunities it presents for hackers to cause damage.

Companies will be under increasing pressure to better secure their products against hackers, as well as implementing cyber security at an organizational level.