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Tips For Securing Your Vehicle Software Systems


As the automobile sector continues to embrace digitalisation and connectivity, it is imperative to safeguard these systems from possible cyber attacks. Implementing software updates regularly, utilising strong passwords, creating data backups, and keeping oneself informed about security risks, etc., are some of the best ways to are ways to enhance the security of the software systems in one’s vehicle. Let’s explore them in detail.

Regularly Update Your Vehicle’s Software

Regularly updating the software of your vehicle is essential for ensuring the security of its systems. Software updates frequently incorporate patches and problem corrections, which serve to mitigate vulnerabilities and fortify the software systems of the vehicle as a whole. Typically supplied by the vehicle manufacturer, these updates comply with safety standards such as ISO 21434 regulation and serve as a shield against possible cyber hazards. 

You can ensure that your vehicle’s software is protected against evolving cyber-attacks and remains equipped with the most recent security measures by performing routine software updates. Moreover, software updates may introduce novel functionalities and enhancements, thereby augmenting the vehicle’s overall performance and functionality. 

Use Strong and Unique Passwords

To fortify the security of software systems located in vehicles, the utilisation of strong and unique passwords is imperative. Passwords that lack adequate security measures enable hackers to gain unauthorised access to the software of the vehicle, thus presenting a potential threat to its functionality and overall security. It is advised to use a range of characters in your password selection, such as digits, special characters, and both lowercase and uppercase letters. 

Additionally, passwords should be unique for each system or application, as using the same password across numerous platforms increases the risk of a security breach. A heightened level of security is achieved through frequent password changes. By implementing this approach, the likelihood of unauthorised entry is significantly reduced, thus fortifying the software systems in the vehicles as a whole.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

By requiring users to provide two separate kinds of verification before being granted access to the program, two-factor authentication strengthens the security of automotive software systems. Including this additional phase in the registration procedure guarantees that access to the system is restricted solely to authorised users. In general, two-factor authentication necessitates the possession of a user-identified component (e.g., a hardware token or mobile device) and a user-known component (e.g., a password). 

By implementing two distinct forms of verification, the probability of unauthorised access is significantly reduced.  Nevertheless, despite its efficacy as a security measure, two-factor authentication should not be the exclusive approach to safeguarding an entity. To safeguard software systems within vehicles, it is critical to implement antivirus and firewall software.

Install Antivirus and Firewall Software

Installing antivirus and firewall software enhances vehicle software systems’ security. Antivirus software safeguards against malicious software that can compromise the functionality of a vehicle’s software, including viruses, worms, and Trojans.  It stops malicious files and programs from doing damage by scanning for them and identifying them. 

Furthermore, firewall software filters incoming and outgoing data to detect and stop any threats, serving as a barrier between the car’s software and external networks. By regularly updating and maintaining these software applications, vehicle owners can ensure that their systems are protected against the latest security vulnerabilities. Being cautious of third-party devices and apps is another crucial aspect of securing vehicle software systems, as these can introduce potential security risks.

Be Cautious of Third-Party Devices and Apps

An important aspect to consider when enhancing the security of vehicle software systems is being cautious of the potential security risks introduced by third-party devices and apps. While these applications and devices may offer additional functionalities or convenience, they may also introduce significant security vulnerabilities into the software systems of the vehicle. 

Malevolent actors have the potential to exploit vulnerabilities present in third-party devices, such as aftermarket multimedia systems and diagnostic tools. In the same way, applications acquired through the infotainment system of a motor vehicle or downloaded from application stores could potentially provide cybercriminals with entry points. It is essential to conduct extensive research and evaluation before installing third-party applications and devices in vehicles to ensure they do not compromise the security of the software systems.

Avoid Connecting to Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

To bolster the security of software systems within vehicles, it is recommended to abstain from establishing connections with unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Unprotected Wi-Fi networks possess the capacity to infiltrate significant vulnerabilities into the vehicle’s software systems. An unauthorised intrusion into the vehicle’s systems could occur if malicious actors intercept and manipulate the data in transit over an unprotected network. 

Among other security violations, this could lead to the unauthorised control of the vehicle’s functions or the seizing of sensitive data. Consequently, it is imperative to establish connections solely with Wi-Fi networks that employ robust encryption protocols. 

Regularly Backup Your Vehicle’s Data

Implementing a routine data backup procedure for a vehicle is critical for preserving the integrity and security of its software systems. One can reduce the likelihood of data loss due to unforeseen events such as cyber-attacks, system malfunctions, or other such causes by consistently creating backups of the vehicle’s data. 

The purpose of these backups is to serve as a preventive measure, allowing for the reversion of the vehicle’s software systems to a previous state in the case of security breaches or vulnerabilities. Additionally, backups facilitate the retrieval of critical data, including preferences, settings, and navigation information, which may be indispensable for the vehicle’s smooth operation. Regularly backing up the vehicle’s data provides peace of mind and helps mitigate the impact of any security incidents that may occur.


Securing the software systems of your vehicle is crucial to protect it from potential cybersecurity threats. One can enhance the security of their vehicle by performing the following tips we have discussed in the article. In addition, maintaining awareness of security risks and updates and performing routine data backups for your vehicle will enable you to thwart potential threats proactively.

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