How to Improve your Automotive Software Security

How to Improve your Automotive Software Security

The automotive industry is fast evolving, characterised by changes in vehicle architecture, user experience, and automotive software. Automobiles are not only limited to transportation. Car owners now expect their cars to function like smart devices that can perform other tasks like streaming music and other cloud-based functionalities. While these are great, these added functionalities can impede the ability of car manufacturers to meet vehicle safety and security requirements.

Here's how to improve your automotive software security.

  1. Prevention with Coding

Coding standards are essential for safety in automotive software development since they define a safer subset of a programming language. Some of the most commonly used coding standards in automotive software include MISRA C and C++, which define a subset of C or C++ and are better suited to safety-critical software development.

Secure coding, also known as secure programming, requires writing code using a high-level language and following strict principles to prevent potential security vulnerabilities. This type of coding is not only about writing codes and releasing them into applications. To ensure secure programming, you must develop a secure development environment built on a secure and reliable IT infrastructure.

Developing automotive software can be complex and involves plenty of time. Therefore, using the right software development tools and following proper coding standards are essential to ensure safety. In doing so, you can guarantee reliable, secure, and standards-compliant automotive software. When coding, the main focus is to avoid dangerous language constructs and the components of each language that have potentially undefined behaviour. Enforcing stricter secure coding standards can help to minimise many defects in automotive software development.

  1. Detect Issues Early

Conducting rigorous testing is essential to detect any defects during the early stage of software development. Unfortunately, testing can cost a lot of money and can be time-consuming. The best solution is to detect and fix issues when writing the code, as it's considerably cheaper than waiting in the later stage of automotive software development before fixing any bugs.

Static analysis is a strategy that can help detect bugs in the code while it's being written and is an essential aspect of the software development environment, significantly reducing the downstream cost of software defects. It can be expensive to fix software development issues. The later you discover them, the worse the situation can become. If you're coding an automotive software development project, you must always stay on track. Communication, accountability, and transparency are all essential.

Software development is a task that requires extreme logic. So, when troubleshooting any issues, you must approach them in the same logical and methodical manner. Issues on automotive software development projects must be mapped out in a logical sequence and not addressed reactively with short-term solutions.

  1. Hire a Software Engineer Specialist

One of the best things automotive companies can do to improve security in software development is to hire an automotive software specialist who has a background in the industry. Software engineers can help enhance security since they are trained and knowledgeable. They have specialised skill sets to maintain the automotive software and ensure its safety.

Software engineering specialists design and develop components of software engineering. They also evaluate the technical architecture and framework of the software by conducting tests and carrying out any necessary updates. Strong communication and teamwork are some of the essential skills required for this profession. Software engineer specialists can lead projects relating to automotive software developments. Their role will also include writing codes and designing operating systems to ensure software efficiency and safety. Sometimes, they may be required to make recommendations for future software developments.

Software engineer specialists specialising in the automotive industry are the best persons to hire for the job. They are well-trained in automotive software technology and have the skills and expertise to make the development process safer and more secure.

  1. Fix it Quick

There is a solution to the complex security problems that vehicle manufacturers and designers have to deal with, and it starts by adopting a security-first mentality. Security should be integrated into automotive applications from day one, which means enforcing the software development process to identify and fix vulnerabilities during coding instead of waiting to test before fixing any vulnerabilities at a later stage.

Adequate testing can help identify those areas in software development that must be changed and fixed during the early development stages. By detecting the problems at the early stage, software developers can implement necessary changes and avoid performing major modifications at the later stage and affecting the project's budget and schedule.

One of the biggest reasons to detect and fix software development bugs earlier is that minor issues could escalate into something bigger and more time-consuming if ignored. In most cases, a small bug can reveal yet another bug making things more complicated. Bugs identified earlier can take less time for the developer to fix. Fresh off from coding, the developer can quickly think through the source of the problem and not have to trace codes written several months before.

  1. Test and Complete Quality Assurance

Quality assurance testing is a procedure that involves evaluating software and its components to determine whether it meets specific requirements or not. It involves executing a sequence of actions to detect gaps, errors, and bugs in automotive software development.

Software quality assurance helps to identify if all requirements and scenarios have been fulfilled. It also involves identifying possible issues and bugs that could compromise the safety and security of the automotive software. Testing reduces the cost and time required to rework and develop error-free automotive software. The testing should begin at the requirements gathering stage and continue until the deployment of the software.

Automotive software testing is done using specific frameworks that aim to reduce the cost and risks associated with human error and enhance safety. The testing method for automotive software is also applicable for long-term projects that need to be released frequently. In some cases, automotive manufacturers may need to conduct security testing to detect the software's potential vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks.