NHTSA updates cybersecurity best practices

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released an update to its Cybersecurity Best Practices for the Safety of Modern Vehicles. It was last updated in 2016.

The document describes ways the automotive industry can improve vehicle cybersecurity. It is nonbinding but contains best practices that will influence the industry.

The document was updated based on public comments received in 2021 when a draft was published in the Federal Register.

The best practices maximize industry voluntary standards, agency research, and motor vehicle cybersecurity research from the past several years.

“As vehicle technology and connectivity develop, cybersecurity needs to be a top priority for every automaker, developer, and operator,” Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA administrator, said. “NHTSA is committed to the safety of vehicles on our nation’s roads, and these updated best practices will provide the industry with important tools to protect Americans against cybersecurity risks.”

The NHTSA regularly assesses cybersecurity risks and emerging best practices.  It will consider future updates as motor vehicles, motor vehicle equipment, and associated cybersecurity evolve.

Cybersecurity for vehicles involves protecting systems and components that govern safety from harmful attacks, unauthorized access, damage, or anything else that could interfere with safety functions.