June 20, 2019

Automotive Cybersecurity: How to Prevent Vulnerabilities in Software

Security & Compliance
Static Analysis

Automotive cybersecurity is really important. Especially as software in cars is increasingly connected. In this blog, we share how to prevent automotive cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Read along or jump ahead to the section that interests you the most:

➡️ ensure automotive cybersecurity with static analysis

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Why Cybersecurity In Automotive Is Important

Cybersecurity in automotive embedded software is critical. It's the only way to ensure that automotive software is bulletproof and secure. This improves the security of the vehicle. It keeps passengers safe. And it protects manufacturers and developers. It reduces the risk of damage to reputations.

But, how do you ensure automotive cybersecurity?

That's where it gets tricky.

Knowing where to focus your time and energy can be half the challenge. You can trace most security issues back to software vulnerabilities. And these can be easily prevented. 

More on Automotive Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

There are many cybersecurity vulnerabilities you need to know. Our recent white paper covers the top 10. Learn how to prevent the top 10 security vulnerabilities affecting embedded systems. (Including automotive cybersecurity vulnerabilities.)

➡️ Get the White Paper

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Top Automotive Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

Here are two key automotive cybersecurity vulnerabilities — and how to prevent them.

Memory Buffer Problems  

Memory buffer problems are the top automotive cybersecurity vulnerability. This means that software can read or write to locations outside of the boundaries of the memory buffer. One example is buffer overflow.

This includes: 

  • Not checking size of input on copy.
  • Bug allowing writing to arbitrary locations.
  • Out-of-bounds read.
  • Pointers outside expected range.
  • Untrusted pointer dereference.
  • Uninitialized pointers.
  • Expired pointer references.
  • Access of memory beyond buffer end.

It's important to keep memory buffer issues from impacting automotive cybersecurity. 

Code Injections

Code injections are another type of automotive cybersecurity vulnerability. They affect interpreted environments. Code injection most often affects infotainment systems and other complicated in-vehicle systems. 

It's important to prevent code injection attacks to ensure automotive cybersecurity.


Prevent Code Injection Attacks

Learn how to prevent code injection attacks. In our recent white paper, you'll learn strategies for detecting and preventing code injection attacks.

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How to Prevent Automotive Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

Here's how to prevent automotive cybersecurity vulnerabilities:

  1. Use design review, manual analysis, and automated static analysis. 
  2. Make sure that you’re aware of all your black box components. Keep them up-to-date.  
  3. Don’t assume that everything is within your own system. Pay special attention to items that may be pulling from a website. 

Static code analysis can help. 

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Improve Automotive Cybersecurity with Perforce Static Analysis Tools

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you there.

One of the most effective ways to improve automotive cybersecurity and prevent vulnerabilities today is to use a static analysis tool, such as Helix QAC or Klocwork .

A static analysis tool helps enforce key automotive coding guidelines — such as MISRA and AUTOSAR C++14 — as well as assists with compliance to functional safety standards — such as ISO 26262 — and security standards — such as ISO 21434.

In addition, a static analysis tool improves software quality by:

  • Detecting automotive cybersecurity vulnerabilities, compliance issues, and rule violations earlier in development. This accelerates code reviews and manual testing.
  • Enforcing industry coding standards and guidelines.
  • Accelerating code reviews.
  • Reporting on compliance over time and across product versions.

See how Perforce static analysis tools can help you improve the quality of your software while also accelerating compliance. Sign up for a free trial today.

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