QoSec – Building Cybersecurity for Automobiles in M2M communications

With advancements in the technology and emerging customer expectations, the automotive industry has evolved over the period. Fuel efficiency, driver behaviour, vehicle health and many more parameters for a safer user experience are predominantly the industry’ s need for gaining the competitive advantage in the exceptionally changing environment. Upcoming innovations are focussed on autonomous driving, escalated level of comfort, safety yet a faster means of travel. 

Role of IoT in automotive industry

IoT (Internet of Things) is one of the core components, bridging the various individual mechanisms knitted together by sensors, devices, control units etc, through the internet for machine communications. IoT is the new gene of the advanced automotive DNA, enabling machine communications for data exchange, without any human intervention, thus empowering the automobile industry for safer, optimized and more efficient operational footprint.

With the widespread growth of Intelligent Sensors, Wireless Connectivity, Cloud Collaboration, Analytics and Big data, the world is opening eyes to a new dawn of IoT and Machine to Machine (M2M) communications.  IoT is constantly creating new business models and introducing proficiencies matching the industry needs with huge returns for business growth across a variety of industries, connecting many more machines to the Internet than humans. 

While M2M concept and technologies have been in use for quite some time for effective monitoring and control, the changing business scenarios and new use cases are acting as growth stimulants for IoT in various segments. Rising demands for M2M solutions are primarily triggered by the widespread adoption and proliferation of affordable wireless communication, making the overall system much sustainable, profitable and reliable.

IoT enabled Electric Vehicles

Environmental threats posed by air pollution, fuel depletion and an array of related concerns had led to the evolution of electric vehicle segment. Analysis of certain parameters to gauge the performance and impact of the system is extremely critical. These eco-friendly entities are intelligent vehicles provisioned to operate on propriety mechanisms to collect vehicle data for effectively minimizing the cost of design, manufacturing and operations in total. While these tracked performance parameters count in speed, mileage, acceleration, battery management, fault alert, charging status & frequency, fuel monitoring, and more – the data packets with the related information can only be tracked and monitored for preventive and predictive maintenance if available on a platform in real-time. The analysis, trends and insights can be examined for tremendous value and measurable return on investments for businesses by creating new business models, and introducing efficiencies that enhance the customer experience.

Adoption of IoT enabled automotive system enables real-time monitoring of vehicle and its vital health parameters to offer real-time measures, ensuring optimal performance. It also contributes to the safety measurements by real-time time tracking, geo-fencing, etc. to mitigate passenger and vehicle safety risks.  The telematics data covers sensitive data from sensors, control units and other components and this information is transferred to the cloud for data analytics through M2M communications for an enhanced customer experience and business opportunities. 

For OEs, the investments associated with the product design is the most critical and reportedly, 60% of this cost is linked to Battery and associated Battery Management System Functions. The efficiency of the battery management system drives the operational expense and is the proprietary asset of the business. The data captured and processed through IoT enabled devices and accounts for various parameters such as current, voltage, temperature during charging and discharging conditions, power, State of Health (SoH), and State of Charge (SoC) etc., is a sensitive information which is transferred to the cloud for analysis through IoT M2M connectivity. IoT also enables a two-way communication for alerts and notifications to the machine from the platform for diagnosis or preventive maintenance. This real-time data is the right match to all the queries related to an ideal machine functioning and predictive analysis to prevent failures/ breakdowns.

Overall, IoT holds a crucial role in the success of electric vehicles. 

Industry Challenges 

The geographical diversity is the limitation of all the network providers, and it is impossible for any network provider to serve the entire globe with consistent connectivity. Moreover, the loss of network contributes to the downtime, thus deteriorating the data analytics for predictive and preventive analysis. The security is another challenge which is often overlooked due to rapid competition in go to market products. Hacking of any sensitive data may lead to major disruptions. However, the security integrations made in the device or sensor in the fitment stage may lead to expenses soaring the manufacturing cost. Thus, these challenges need to be addressed so that the evolving technology is affordable for all.

QoSim as Quality of Service – Enabling Innovation in IoT M2M Connectivity & Lifecycle Management

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QoSim is a unique proposition for Quality of Service (QoS), offering multiple connectivity profiles on a single SIM card with a capability to intelligently switch the networks when the primary network is lost. This uninterrupted connectivity proposition is also empowered with remote subscription update for hassle-free download of any new profile on the same SIM card, over the air, without any physical intervention with the SIM. This service is powered by a cloud-based connectivity lifecycle management platform, SenseLCM for remotely managing the multiple profile on a single platform and remotely diagnosing and troubleshooting the connectivity concerns. 

Importance of Security in M2M communications

Data security in IoT segment is much vulnerable to cyber threats and poses significant impact on the overall automobile ecosystem. Any device connecting to the Internet with an operating system is prone to cyber-attacks and is a prominent security concern for enterprises. 

Apart from the Quality of Service, there is a crucial need of M2M connectivity with security elements to keep the data safe, private and invulnerable to hacking and cyber-attacks. Majority of the Machine to Server Communication uses Public Cloud / Open Internet, hence data encryption is critical for IoT Security.

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Fig 1: Security Challenged Architecture (Use Case: Telematics and Tracking)

QoSim is a secure applet with strong digital identity, unique IMSI and mutual authentication elements. End-to-end security-by-design is enabled by the advanced QoSec feature with security based on GSM standard to facilitate secure data communication from SIM to Machine Applications. The feature highlights are as follows:

• Carrier Class Security by Design for constrained IoT Devices as per TRAI recommendations

• Common Service Layer Security Enablement using Standards based Auth Algorithms

• Crypto processes as approved by ETSI/ 3GPP Standards

With the impending 5G trials and a number of use-cases coming up in the Connected Car, Autonomous Devices, Electric Vehicles etc., security is the base requirement considering the number of cyber-attacks. QoSec is a complete end to end security solution for multiple industry use-cases. It includes card in various form factors, applet and backend server to encrypt and decrypt the data for use at defined distinct nodes. The most striking feature of QoSec is the key differentiation that distinguishes the encrypt key from that of the decrypt key such that an application on the device can encrypt a message, but nothing on the device can decrypt the same, thus ensuring complete security from malicious applications, without any change to Device PCBs.

With secured IoT and M2M communications, enterprises and businesses can automate many processes and minimize downtime, reduce operating costs, increase efficiency, and enable predictive maintenance for a future ready scenario. Sensorise solutions remove complexity from IoT implementations, allowing for rapid achievement of business outcomes with the proven Sensorise capabilities to rapidly drive real business value for the organisations and their customers.


Vijaya Vivek Kamath

Business Mentor


Vijaya Vivek Kamath is an IT veteran with extensive experience of over 27 years in Systems Integration, Program Management, Technology Architecture and Mobility Solutions, especially in the Telecom Business Vertical. As one of the core founding members of Sensorise, Vijaya has steered SenseLCM vertical and created strategic business models for the multi-profile eSIM in automobiles and now introducing security for data encryption in M2M communications.

Published in Telematics Wire

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