Cyber Security, Digital Twin and Trusted Mobility – By SecureThings

Discover Digital Twin. 

The point of convergence between the physical and virtual world is called Digital Twin Technology. 

The concept was first introduced by NASA in 2002 where it was referred to as the Mirrored Spaces Model. These were full-scale mock-ups of early space capsules, used on the ground to mirror and diagnose problems in orbit, which eventually evolved to fully digital simulations.

Both the concept and technology behind Digital Twin however has gained momentum in the past couple of years and are revolutionizing the manufacturing industry while rapidly moving into almost every industry that has even basic technological capabilities. So what can digital twin technology do for you? Why should you be even reading about it, that too from SecureThings – a brand that’s all about automotive cybersecurity?

Digital Twin Tech is the next big thing in most of the business sectors. To give an example, in the automotive sector, digital twins can be used for creating the virtual model of a connected vehicle. It can capture the behavioral and operational data of the vehicle and help in analyzing the overall vehicle performance as well as the connected features. It also enables OEMs in delivering a truly customized after-sales service to customers.

Not only in the automobile sector, but digital twin technology is gaining popularity in manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and even in developing smart cities.

The key factor for the success of a digital twin is uninterrupted and real-time exchange of data or update packages for firmware or software updates, between the actual product and virtual model. 

Digital Twin & Cyber Security

As digital twins increasingly become more accessible and operational, many organizations are turning to this technology to improve productivity, thwart downtime, and monitor forthcoming setbacks on the real system. Of course, the benefits of using digital twin technology are many, but a side-effect is that with greater connectivity comes greater vulnerabilities and greater risk of attacks.

To create a digital twin, the physical asset is built with one or more sensors that collect real-time data and operational status. This is sent via a cloud-based system before being analyzed, using machine learning algorithms in cases where there are more complicated variables. Based on the relayed information, changes identified are then replicated in the twin. 

For instance, in a connected vehicle, a digital twin will be programmed to flag any maintenance or service issue that arises from periodic usage or an accident. A digital twin will alert the OEMs service platform via Cloud about say an engine part change. The OEMs can then update the vehicle owner about it as well as a parts vendor and be successful in delivering a great customer service experience. 

The above process can work flawlessly if the data sent via the cloud is trustworthy and not tampered. 

However, if a cyber-criminal was to hack into the vehicle and send malicious content via the cloud to the digital twin, then the experience would be quite different. While this being just an example, the important part is that the intention of a cyberattack might not be to disrupt your customer service ratings. 

Thus not just Data but Trusted Data is critical for digital twin technology to work. 

Organizations must therefore seriously consider the security implications of a digital twin and take a new approach to security. As vehicle complexities are increasing with every new prototype introduced and now with autonomous vehicles hitting the roads, cybersecurity is becoming more of a requisite, not just an option. These modern vehicles are ‘data banks on wheels’ which are easy targets for nefarious hackers. Protecting this data, ensuring its integrity has become a high priority.

SecureThings & Digital Twin Technology for Automobiles

The Digital revolution isn’t a technology outcome, but a business outcome that is enabled by technology and driven by security. As digital twin technology becomes popular, sheer volumes of data are being collected, transmitted, and processed from products, assets, and processes — and being conveyed back and forth to the digital twin. The question to be asked is, how much of the Data from this $1.4 Trillion market is secure and trusted?

As pioneers in Automotive Cybersecurity, SecureThings believe that ‘security’ must be embedded within the existing telemetry sensors technology or 4G/5G connectivity to ensure digital trust throughout the entire lifecycle of a product.

Our Products & Services

Our data-driven secure digital twin platform for the automotive industry provides trusted data and this platform can be used by any existing services like fleet management, predictive maintenance, or analytics. The platform can support many solutions answering pressing customer problems, including:

  • Modern cars are loaded with many features, which of these are most of the least used?
  • A virtual twin can bring up driver preferences and behavioral patterns to avoid retailers and OEMs losing revenue.
  • Critical parts of a vehicle can be monitored via a twin and breakdowns can be predicted.

How to embedding security within the digital twin technology is a solution SecureThings can provide with innovative, researched-based products and services. 

SecureThings Cloud IDS solution can monitor the fleet vehicle data and quickly identify and correct any anomalies that may occur. Considering vehicle security our IDPS solution is powered by machine Learning and Statistics based algorithms. The algorithm is capable of identifying malicious data by correlating various component behavior within a vehicle.

SecureThings CAN Data compression is developed based upon Statistical algorithms. The model parameters are used to encode the data and send it to the cloud. The encoded batch is received by the decoding module in the cloud and reconstructed to its original format with no loss. The algorithm provides very high-level compression. 

Trusted Mobility Platform SecureThings trusted mobility platform ensures that vehicle to cloud communication is protected from eavesdroppers or man-in-the-middle attacks using innovative protection solutions. This security measure can ensure false data identification and data correction and gives the ability to curate ‘real’ data from the ‘fake’ one. Our cloud-based monitoring solution allows the following:

  • Provide data reliability to use within the Fleet Management services
  • A trusted mobility platform enables data integrity between the real and virtual vehicles
  • Analytics platform to provide intelligent insights and trends (pre-empt threats)
  • Cloud-based analytics solution that can be deployed in a Security Operations Center (SOC) for live monitoring and data correlation

Benefits of Digital Twins Cybersecurity
A secure digital twin of an asset or system has several benefits:

  1. Pre-empting asset maintenance needs, thereby reducing costs
  2. Reducing asset downtime
  3. Improving plant efficiency
  4. Optimizing process times
  5. Reducing time to market

Benefits of using SecureThings Digital Twin solutions:

  • By operationalizing security- and privacy-by-design, security can become a critical enabler of trust in the operation of products and assets using digital twins.
  • Data is the new currency in the world of connectivity to be able to provide innovative, cutting edge features. From a business perspective monetizing such anonymized data is the best way to leverage secure digital twin technology. 
  • The secure digital twin will become the full driver of communication and collaboration across the organization’s entire digital thread — a framework to unify and orchestrate data across a product’s life cycle — only if the right security technologies and policies are applied and maintained to preserve digital trust.
  • Only in an authenticated and trusted ecosystem can participants collaborate and safely operate products, assets, and processes through digital twins.

For organizations that want to secure and ensure the success of their digital transformation, the SecureThings team can provide an opportunity to have safe inclusion of the whole ecosystem and supply chain for positive business outcomes.

SecureThings has been recognized as one of the Top 20 Most Promising Automotive Technology Solution Providers by CIO Review in 2019. Our focus is to provide guidance and technology to secure connected vehicles to build end-to-end security for the automotive industry.

SecureThings is strategically located, with a presence in Silicon Valley, USA, and India Automotive hub, Pune. Thus providing the Silicon Valley Innovation and India Scale advantage to our esteem customers. US and India are both large Automotive markets besides helping us strategically in covering major automotive ecosystems across the globe with around the clock support.


Amar Bhosale
Cloud Platform Lead

Sanyam Agarwal
Vehicle Physics & In-vehicle Network
Protection Lead, SecureThings

Published in Telematics Wire

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