Virtual Security Operations Centers: What you need to know

Cyber security has become a crucial part of any business today, and more so for those organizations that have an attack surface-reaching across the internet. Security Operations Centers have become a mainstay of modern Cyber security by providing precautionary monitoring and reactionary intervention in the case of a cyber security breach.

Smart vehicles and Electrical Vehicles in particular need the same level of security as traditional IT infrastructure requires. It is for this reason that an Electric Vehicle OEM needs to be able to access either a dedicated SOC or a Virtual SOC (VSOC), to monitor and provide swift reactions to any nefarious activity.

By utilizing technologies such as SIEM, for example, the automotive security solutions utilized by OEMs have the distinct capability of collecting real-time data from Electrical Vehicles to monitor and measure the data against existing threat models. Identifying any activity that might indicate that a cyber-attack is in progress, or that a breach has already occurred. This powerful method of AI threat modeling and detection allows SOCs to have fully contextualized views of the vehicles they monitor.

What are VSOCs?

What sets VSOCs apart from traditional SOCs is that they are not bound by the static geographic nature as traditional SOCs are. VSOCs have the distinct ability to provide their services across regional and even continental boundaries, remotely monitoring Electric Vehicles for suspicious security activity that raises red flags.

A common misconception is that VSOCs host security data, which they do not. They simply function as a third-party monitoring service to existing monitoring solutions implemented by automotive OEMs. Since no data is stored by the VSOC the responsibility of regulatory compliance remains with the security solution that the vehicle’s OEM has decided to implement.

The vehicle’s OEM threat detection tools, such as intrusion prevention systems or a data loss prevention system, would initiate security alerts based on predefined security models. While the VSOC teams do not need direct access to the protected systems of electric vehicles, such as the ECU or sensors, they do need to configure their security monitoring system to pick up on any alerts produced.

Ideal VSOC Criteria

With so many VSOC solutions available in the market today, prospective automotive OEMs need to use a fine-tooth comb to create a shortlist of possible vendors. The most important factor to consider is the protection of personally identifiable information of vehicle owners. As a third-party service, VSOC doesn’t need personal information to perform monitoring of existing OEM security solutions. This has the capacity of inciting major litigation from the vehicle owner.

VSOCs must have the ability to perform their primary service objective constantly and consistently without failure or downtime.

VSOCs need to be fully compatible with the cyber security solution which the OEM has chosen to partner with. This, together with a flexible service level agreement will ensure the longevity of the partnership between the automotive OEM and the VSOC.

OEMs must monitor numerous intersecting data sources and risks across the individual vehicles, as well as full fleets, to manage threats, as well as establish cross-functional response capabilities., for an effective VSOC solution to succeed.

Since smart vehicles and more importantly Electrical Vehicles are susceptible to cyber-attacks, having a trusted SOC or VSOC solution in place ensures that vehicles are kept safe by remediating potential risks.

To Summarise

With the technological advancements made to Automotive OEMs and related interconnected systems, automotive cyber security does not differ from traditional server-based cyber security. Processes such as vulnerability scanning, and timely threat remediation needs to be regarded as a high priority in the automotive industry too. For OEMs to have peace of mind partnering with industry leaders in automotive cyber security has proven to greatly increase the cyber resilience of their products, especially Electrical Vehicles.

By introducing a reputable SOC into the security ecosystem, OEMs can be certain that security monitoring takes place, and that remedial action will take place in real-time. Whether the SOC is a physical or virtually based SOC, the service delivery objective of a SOC is to provide automated threat detection, real-time threat resolution, and a level of security expertise that adds value to the automotive brand.

 

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