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UK regulators issue new cybersecurity guidelines for smart cars

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UK regulators issue new cybersecurity guidelines for smart cars

The U.K. Department of Transport announced new guidance on Aug. 6 aimed at better protecting internet-connected cars from hackers. The new guidelines are expected to ensure that engineers incorporate cybersecurity measures as they develop new vehicles.

The government said it was worried that would-be hackers could target smart cars to access personal data, steal cars that use keyless entry, or even take control of technology for malicious reasons.

The government is also looking at a broader program announced in this year's Queen's Speech under the Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Bill that aims to create a new framework for self-driving vehicle insurance.

Transport Minister Lord Callanan said in a statement that "Our key principles give advice on what organisations should do, from the board level down, as well as technical design and development considerations."

The guidelines, among other things, would require organizations to gain full understanding of current and relevant threats and the engineering practices to mitigate them. In addition, personal accountability would be held at the board level for product and system security (physical, personnel and cyber) and delegated "appropriately and clearly" throughout the organization.

Also under the guidelines, users would be able to delete sensitive data, such as personally identifiable data, held on systems and connected systems.

The U.K. government said it will continue to support and work collaboratively with industry to make sure vehicles are protected from cyberattacks.

Governments should step in to help streamline security standards for the Internet of Things, as escalating global cyberthreats combined with the proliferation of connected devices could lead to serious security and safety hazards, one expert recently warned.