Continental Sees Data Protection As Top Concern For Connected Mobility

Continental Data Protection Cyber security Connected Mobility Data Protection
Continental Sees Data Protection As Top Concern For Connected Mobility

Continental, through its Mobility Study has found that drivers in Germany, US, China and Japan are looking for offerings and services based on the digitalisation of vehicles. However, the study also showed that when it comes to new mobility services, the protection of personal data is highly-important to those surveyed, especially with regards to connected future mobility. Continental is addressing the demands of end customers for connected services by using its anonymised data from actual everyday driving to make future functions safer, cleaner and smarter.

Data protection and data security go hand in hand, noted Continental, saying data and information security are requirements for data protection in the car. This is all the more important, since in the future virtually all new vehicles will be connected to the internet. The company is therefore calling for the fastest possible implementation of the new industry standard for cybersecurity (ISO/SAE 21434 “Road Vehicles – Cybersecurity Engineering”). The new standard covers the life cycle of vehicles, starting with development and production to software updates, rapid response to new cybersecurity intelligence, and safer and data-protected decommissioning, Continental explained.

Dr Elmar Degenhart, CEO, Continental, said data is an obligation, with data protection being essential for it as a technology company, its products, services and processes. In the long term, only this stance will strengthen the confidence of customers and consumers in new, data-based mobility services, he added. “For our products, our services and our processes, every day is Data Protection Day. Data protection is not an optional extra,” said Dr Degenhart. As a requirement for data protection, the car’s data traffic must be just as secure as modern online banking, emphasized Dr Degenhart.

Integrity, confidentiality and availability of data, as well as security, protection and frugality when it comes to handling data are said to be the core principles of Continental’s business. Continental generates 60 % of its automotive sales with sensors, electronics and software-based products, which are all needed for connectivity of the vehicle. The proportion of connected services is also increasing continuously in the tyre and industrial segments, the company noted. A large team of specialists is responsible for information security and data protection at the company, which includes experts from subsidiaries Elektrobit, ARGUS Cyber Security and the Continental Security and Privacy Competence Centre.

In addition, Continental ensures that all functions in the car are monitored continuously and receive regular security updates. The company’s technology for secure wireless software over-the-air (OTA) updates is also in use here. The software keys required for this are given such short lifetimes that they are forgery-proof while they are still valid, the company observed. Every vehicle has its own digital key. However, as in the case any security system, absolute protection cannot be guaranteed, and the effectiveness of all systems must be checked regularly, it said.

Privacy and security by design has become one of the company’s core principles in the development of hardware and software, noted Stefan Römmele, Head, Strategy and Predevelopment for Security and Privacy, Continental. He said that right from the development phase, all interfaces with electronic systems in the car must be secured, data-flows must be examined closely, and control options must be enabled for drivers and users. Connected devices must be secure not only individually but also as a group, and personal data should be used in a manner that ensures data privacy at all times over the entire service life of the vehicle, Römmele added.