Software updates and cybersecurity

Software updates and cybersecurity

Modern vehicles have an impressive assortment of features that are implemented with complex software. With the complexity of such applications and the increasing connectivity of the vehicles (with the internet and smartphones), the threat from cyberattacks also increases. This necessitates countermeasures similar to the ones we already know from our daily use of computers.

Software and cybersecurity – two sides of the software-defined vehicle

There is no modern vehicle without software. Whether infotainment, automated driving, or connectivity for increasing efficiency, software provides the necessary functions.

The great advantage of the software-defined vehicle is that software can also be updated after the vehicle is produced through over-the-air updates. Driving functions and interfaces can then be continuously optimized over the entire life cycle.

The challenge: a high amount of software and connectivity can make the vehicle susceptible to cyberattacks. Automated driving functions, in particular, must be protected from such threats.

To provide the best possible protection, appropriate measures must be implemented during development. Software and processes must be designed to detect and mitigate threats quickly also during operation.

Software maintenance via over-the-air updates.

Cybersecurity over the entire vehicle life cycle

Cybersecurity over the entire vehicle life cycle

When developing new mobility solutions, Bosch uses its wide-ranging expertise to defend against potential cyberthreats. To do this, possible threats are precisely analyzed and preventive countermeasures are installed in hardware and software – for example, protective measures against software manipulation and unauthorized access to confidential data.

Many Bosch electronic control units have a hardware security module for this purpose, in which cryptographic keys can be stored securely. These keys are injected by Bosch during manufacturing through the global key management system.

In doing this, Bosch follows the new industry standard ISO/SAE 21434, thereby supporting its customers in complying with current cybersecurity regulations.

Central vehicle security operations center

However, this does not avert the threat of cyberattacks after a vehicle has left the factory. Regular searching for vulnerabilities can help to detect new threats as they emerge. In the future, intrusion detection systems will be able to identify threats directly in the vehicle and report them to a central vehicle security operations center.

As soon as a vulnerability is discovered, a response can be initiated, for example, with an over-the-air software update. Updating the software many years after the original development is a challenge. With a software maintenance agreement, Bosch can support its customers with long-term provision of updates.

Improvement through continuous development

Improvement through continuous development

New vehicles are usually provided with up-to-date software before leaving the factory. By collecting and analyzing new (and as yet unknown) data during operation, however, systems can also be continuously optimized beyond the originally provided software – over the entire life cycle of a vehicle.

In this way, the performance of existing systems is improved. In addition, innovations can be brought to each vehicle quickly through purchased upgrades.

Bosch is a pioneer in automotive cybersecurity

Pioneer in automotive cybersecurity

The topic of cybersecurity is deeply rooted in all divisions and areas of the company and in Bosch automotive products. Bosch employs over 300 automotive cybersecurity experts and has been a pioneer in automotive cybersecurity for many years, for example, in the area of technical standards such as the Bosch hardware security module and working with the ISO/SAE 21434 committee. With its ESCRYPT brand, ETAS GmbH, a subsidiary of the

Bosch Group, is also a leader in automotive cybersecurity consulting. Thanks to comprehensive software competence and many years of experience in the automotive field, Bosch specializes in the continuous development (DevOps cycle) of vehicles. With this approach, processes are optimized to individual needs and existing infrastructure in collaboration with Bosch’s partners. Customer-specific cybersecurity requirements can also be implemented.

Software services from Bosch

ESCRYPT – automotive cybersecurity solutions

ESCRYPT – automotive cybersecurity solutions

For more than 15 years, the ESCRYPT brand has stood for technologically groundbreaking, holistic cybersecurity solutions in the automotive field. Automotive security solutions from ESCRYPT are used today in millions of vehicles worldwide to secure vehicle systems and set standards for the cybersecurity of software-defined vehicles, smart traffic systems, and connected vehicle fleets.

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Open technology platform for the software-defined vehicle

Open technology platform for the software-defined vehicle

Bosch, with its partners, is developing an open technology platform for software solutions. Bosch’s work here focuses on highly integrated development tool chains and vehicle-related cloud-platform services. This approach makes use of developments related to the zone-oriented E/E architecture with vehicle computers. In doing this, Bosch is ensuring a strong integration of software across all vehicle domains.

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Updates over the air

Software updates over the air

More and more manufacturers use software updates not only to fix software problems but also to add new features to their products and to implement completely new business models. Software updates over the air (SOTA) make this process significantly easier and more efficient. From the perspective of the manufacturer, however, this is a complex undertaking with many steps to pay attention to.

With the mobility cloud, Bosch combines standardized data transmission and processing with a scalable development environment and seamless vehicle connectivity on a unique cloud-based platform.

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Platform for innovations: the connected vehicle

The connected vehicle

Modern vehicles are transmitters and receivers of a variety of data. They exchange information constantly with mobility providers, workshops, other vehicles, and the cloud. This connectivity holds enormous potential for new, innovative business models. Bosch supports these developments with a portfolio consisting of a wide range of services and secure connectivity solutions.

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