In 2017, millions of moviegoers flocked to theaters for the eighth Fast and Furious movie, where they watched a villainous Charlize Theron take control of hundreds of self-driving cars. Whether they knew it or not, this was many viewers’ first exposure to the idea of a transportation-based cyberattack. And while this specific scenario is not likely to happen, the danger of cyberattacks against connected vehicles is very real—and the movie isn’t as far from reality as you might think.
Recent reports estimate that 250 million IoT-enabled vehicles will be on the road by 2020 as demand for tools like smart driving assistance, car monitoring and geolocation services, predictive maintenance, improved fleet management, and more, continue to rise. Although these tools offer both consumers and businesses exciting new conveniences, millions of connected vehicles means millions of new targets for cyberattacks. The 2019 Sonic Wall Cyber Threat Report indicated that 32.7 million cyberattacks targeting IoT devices occurred in 2018—a 217.5% increase over 2017—and the transportation industry’s race to embrace connected technology unfortunately makes it an attractive target.
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