In an effort to eliminate and prevent sophisticated cyber hazards in connected automobiles, German automaker Volkswagen
(VW) has signed an agreement with three Israeli cybersecurity experts to establish an automotive cyber security company. Dubbed as CYMOTIVE Technologies, the firm will be led by cybersecurity experts namely Yuval Diskin, Tsafrir Kats and Tamir Bechor and will aim at developing advanced cyber security tools and solutions for connected cars, self-driving vehicles and mobile services.
However, Diskin amongst the three, will be serving as the chairman of CYMOTIVE Technologies, said Volkswagen. Having worked as the chief for Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency, Diskin should easily bring the expertise the company requires in beefing up its cyber defense strategy. The new company will be based in Herzliya, Israel with another lab coming up at Wolfsburg, Germany.
Excited at the opportunity of securing connected cars from unethical penetrations and threats, he said:
“The new cooperation will take an innovative and strategic approach to cyber security. Together with Volkswagen we are building a top-notch team of cyber security experts. We are aware of the significant technological challenges that will face us in the next years in dealing with the cyber security threats facing the connected car and the development of the autonomous car.”
According to the deal, 40 percent of CYMOTIVE Technologies will be owned by the car manufacturer and 60 percent will be held by Diskin and his two colleagues who have also had senior posts in the Shin Bet. Although Volkwagen has not mentioned the investment amount, it is dedicated to further its core capabilities in the field of cyber security and in doing so, is taking the extra help from from Israel—which has lately proved itself as an emerging cybersecurity hub.
Volkmar Tanneberger, Head, Electrical and Electronic Development, Volkswagen, said “The car and the Internet are becoming increasingly integrated. To enable us to tackle the enormous challenges of the next decade, we need to expand our know-how in cyber security in order to systematically advance vehicle cyber security for our customers.”
“CYMOTIVE Technologies provides an excellent platform for doing this. It is a long-term investment in cyber security to make vehicles and their ecosystem more secure,” Tanneberger added.
This isn’t Volkswagen’s first foray into the domain of connected cars though. Earlier, in July, it had signed a MoU
(Memorandum of Understanding) with South Korea-based electronics firm, LG. to develop a connected-car platform and cloud-based solution that would allow automobiles to communicate with various electronic gadgets and devices around them.