O2 unveils autonomous vehicle security blueprint

29 May 2020 | Melanie Mingas


O2 has developed a blueprint to help protect the UK’s self-driving cars from cyber-vulnerabilities.

Working in collaboration with Cisco, the University of Warwick, and Millbrook Proving Group, O2’s cybersecurity experts were responsible for determining the types of cyber-attack and attackers that pose a threat to Connected and Autonomous Vehicles  (CAV) networks.

Their investigation focused on developing models that could be used to classify, manage, and mitigate cybersecurity risks for intelligent transport systems, which will be vital for ensuring the safety and security of road users in the future.

The project lasted 12 weeks and was funded by Innovate UK, the UK Government-funded innovation agency, and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV). Over its duration, O2 provided access to its technical subject matter experts.

Brendan O’Reilly, CTO at O2 said: “If connected and autonomous vehicles are going to become a permanent fixture in our day-to-day lives, it will be critical that governments and the public feel reassured that this technology is secure from cyber-attacks.

“We’re proud to have worked alongside other sector leaders to create a cybersecurity blueprint that will help the UK lead the way when it comes to innovation in the intelligent transportation systems of the future,” O’Reilly added.

Recommendations were put forward by the consortium to Innovate UK to form the basis of a future cybersecurity CAV test facility, which outlined the design, development, and trialling of the outputs of the phase 1 study.

Joel Obstfeld, distinguished engineer in Cisco’s emerging technology and incubation team, added: “The project brought together expertise from key sectors to the CAV ecosystem. From the operational expertise of the O2’s cybersecurity experts, Millbrook’s experience in the testing environment, the academic research capabilities of WMG, to Cisco’s expertise in networks and security services, it offers a great example of the cross-disciplinary thinking required to create a viable testing framework to address cybersecurity challenges for CAVs in the UK.”

Breaking the news, O2 highlighted that cybercrime costs the UK economy £27 billion annually, £21 billion of that to businesses, £3.1 billion to citizens, and £2.2 billion to the Government. Meanwhile, the UK’s CAV market is estimated to be worth £28 billion by 2035.