Nine in 10 UK Consumers have Security Concerns around Connected Cars

Despite fears, nearly 20 percent already own an IoT-ready vehicle

Thales, a leader in critical information systems, cybersecurity and data security, announced new research revealing the security concerns UK consumers associate with connected devices, including cars.

Surveying 1,000 consumers across the US and UK, the findings show that over half of Brits now own at least one internet-connected device, with wearable fitness trackers (24 percent), vehicles (18 percent) and smartwatches (16 percent) being the most common.

Consumer considerations
When asked to identify internet-connected devices which were most vulnerable to hacking, cars with integrated Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology came second only to home security cameras and video-enabled doorbells. So, 60 percent of respondents felt that connected cars posed security concerns. Integrity and malfunctions of connected car technology topped the list of apprehensions.

Over 50 percent expressed concerns around viruses or malware and almost 40 percent claimed data security features would be the most important thing to consider when purchasing a connected vehicle. To combat these concerns, an overwhelming majority of respondents (92 percent) felt the government should implement stricter data security regulations for connected cars.

John Grimm, senior directory security strategy, Thales eSecurity, says: “As adoption of connected cars and development of autonomous, self-driving cars soars, there is a tremendous business opportunity for automakers. However, with more connectivity comes new pathways for cyberattacks and our research shows that 60 percent of UK respondents are more concerned about the security of connected cars now vs. 5 years ago.

"While we’re starting to see IoT and connected car regulatory frameworks in the UK, manufacturers across the world should proactively consider these consumer concerns as they get ready to bring these cars to our streets instead of waiting for laws and regulations to pass.”

Cars aren’t the only concern
When it comes to concerns about potential breaches, 65 percent of UK consumers believe devices like home security cameras and video doorbells are internet-connected technologies that are also extremely vulnerable. Those seen as least vulnerable are connected lightbulbs, such as Philips Hue, with only 10 percent of respondents viewing them as a threat.

Other devices considered to be at risk of security issues include virtual personal assistants, such as Amazon Echo (54 percent), smartwatches, such as the Apple watch (35 percent), and medical monitoring devices, such as glucose meter remotes (23 percent).


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