“Cyber Security affects us all”

Friedhelm Pickhard speaks at the University of Stuttgart

Friedhelm Pickhard, Chairman of the Board of Management of ETAS GmbH, recently gave a talk on cyber security at the University of Stuttgart. His speech was part of a lecture series entitled “Automotive Technology Leaders Present.” In his speech, Mr. Pickhard spoke about the relevance of cyber security and its impact on businesses in particular.
A topic that affects us all.

Following a brief introduction to ETAS GmbH and its subsidiary ESCRYPT GmbH, the leading system provider of IoT security specializing in automotive security, Mr. Pickhard began his talk with a look at the types of cyber attacks businesses around the world must contend with. He pointed out that, as the world grows more and more interconnected, security is no longer a concern that is limited to individual people or companies. Instead, it calls for collective responsibility. “Cyber security affects us all,” he concluded.

He went on to stress that security must be considered from an organizational perspective. Each company, he said, must decide for itself how much risk it is prepared to take on. It isn’t just a question of security, but of cost and the user experience as well. All three aspects must be carefully balanced to reach a suitable compromise.


Considering every loophole in the security chain

When discussing the assessment of potential threats, Mr. Pickhard was able to demonstrate how even the smallest security breach can become a big problem. For instance, a small safe, like the ones you find in hotels, might be hard to crack by listening in on the electronic lock (a side-channel attack), cracking the code using mathematical techniques (a logical attack), or tricking the code holder into giving away the code (a social attack) – but, give it a few good knocks (a semi-invasive attack) and it will soon yield. This practical example showed the listeners that even the weakest attack techniques can lead to a severe security breach.

To round off his speech, Mr. Pickhard took a look at the security trends in the automotive sector, stressing that the increasing connectivity in the industry calls for a holistic approach to security – one that reaches all the way from development through production to actual vehicle operation.


Cyber crime opens up new job opportunities

Another topic that no doubt appealed to the students in the audience was the new job opportunities emerging in the field of cyber security. Security Consultants, Security Developers, and Security Architects were just a few of the many roles Mr. Pickhard mentioned in his speech.

There was then a short Q&A followed by the final event of the evening: A chance for attendees to get to grips with ESCRYPT’s holistic security solutions for themselves in the form of a small exhibition, accompanied by light refreshments and the opportunity to network. The biggest security risk here was clearly being last in line for the tasty snacks!

The “Automotive Technology Leaders Present” lecture series is organized by the University of Stuttgart, Robert Bosch GmbH, and the Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines Stuttgart (FKFS).