The modern connected vehicle has 5-10 different networks and between 100 to 150 ECU’s or automotive computers all communicating using various protocols. These networks inter-connect various sub-systems through a central gateway ECU. The automotive security challenge is to orchestrate network connectivity among the networks, as well as in-between the vehicle and the external environment in the most secure manner possible in order to ensure the safety of the vehicle as a whole and prevent vehicle hacking or tempering.
A modern vehicle is based on well-structured communication between ECUs. For example, the infotainment system of the vehicle should never be allowed to communicate with the brakes. This is also what enables the safety certification of critical systems. Such certifications rely on verifying structured communication through ECUs.
The Communication Lockdown™ Methodology presents an innovative approach to automotive security. The Lockdown methodology enforces the allowed “legal” communication, while being completely agnostic to attacks. The core functionality is deterministic, thus preventing any possibility of attacks causing changes in functionality. Our approach to vehicle cybersecurity is to provide a centralized solution which locks down all internal network communication. It also includes a local solution to protect single ECUs. The single ECU protection is provided through a simple ‘plug-in’ device that connects to ECU’s that have external connectivity. This way, all external network communication is ‘locked down’. Such implementations lead to consolidation, lower complexity, easier certification and overall cost reduction. GuardKnox Technology and software stack can be implemented in various hardware architectures, and therefore eases the integration process to existing automotive computers.
The Communication Lockdown™ framework is based on the communication specifications of the vehicle. When a message is sent to the vehicle, it is verified on 3 different levels:
Our vehicles are the smallest unit in which our entire family is gathered. When it comes to safety and security of our vehicles there is absolutely no room for error. This is why the automotive industry needs to adopt a deterministic approach to vehicle cybersecurity such as offered by Communication Lockdown™.