Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 18

DEFENDING THE
HEAVY-VEHICLE
CYBER
DOMAIN
A person gaining physical access to a single vehicle
is undesirable, but nefarious actors seizing wireless
access to a fleet of vehicles is far more worrisome.
Cybersecurity experts explained at SAE COMVEC 2021 how they're preparing the
next generation of thwarters to protect increasingly electrified, connected and
automated trucks.
by Ryan Gehm
T
he COVID-19 pandemic has served as a stark reminder of
trucking's essential role in keeping the economy moving.
Hacking commercial vehicles poses grave risks that should
not be ignored; therefore, adequate cybersecurity measures
should be considered and implemented upfront in vehicle and system-development
programs. That was the consensus of industry experts
participating in a Cybersecurity panel at the recent SAE
COMVEC 2021 conference in Chicago.
" Transportation is critical infrastructure. It's central to our supplychain
philosophy of just-in-time, " stressed Karl Heimer, senior technical
advisor for cybersecurity to the Michigan Economic Development
Corp. (MEDC). To drive home the point, Heimer referenced a study
that evaluated what would happen to a locality - be it a city, region
or the country - if the trucking distribution system was interrupted
or stopped for a period of time. " At the end of a month, literally we're
preindustrial, " he warned.
To help ensure the industry has enough talent to combat cybersecurity
threats, the CyberTruck Challenge was created in 2017 to give
college students and postgraduates a taste of the high-tech issues
confronting heavy-vehicle engineers and ultimately to entice them to
join the effort once they graduate. Students are paired with industry
and government professionals, as well as actual hackers - or 'white
hats' - to learn about these large " networks on wheels. " This year's
18 October 2021
challenge saw participation from 18 universities (compared
to six in its first year) and featured seven trucks,
three testbeds and one trailer on which students could
gain hands-on experience.
Cyber is a 'contact sport'
The training program emphasizes that a fusion of skillsets
is required to combat cyber incidents. " If you
could grab an electrical engineer who has lots of patents
and is extremely good and say, 'I want you to go
into this role as a cyber guy,' that's a great start, but
it's insufficient because cyber is different - it's a contact
sport, " said Heimer, who cofounded the
CyberTruck Challenge along with Dr. Jeremy Daily,
associate professor of systems engineering at
Colorado State University.
Electrical engineering, mechanical engineering,
computer science or programming - all solid backgrounds
to have, Heimer added: " But you must move
beyond that and fuse them in a way that you can understand
what the cyber effects are against your
transportation system. "
TRUCK & OFF-HIGHWAY ENGINEERING
CYBERTRUCK CHALLENGE

Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021

Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - CVR4
Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - CVR1
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Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - 1
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Truck & Off-Highway Engineering - October 2021 - CVR4
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