Gert Jan Schenk
President of EMEA Gert-Jan Schenk is President of EMEA at McAfee with 20 years of experience in global sales and ...
During the last couple of weeks, I had some very interesting customer meetings with car manufacturers. I am passionate about cars so I followed the news coming out of the major car event, The 64the International Motor Show (IAA), also known as the Frankfurt Auto Show, with great interest. Almost one million people from all over the world, including 10,000 journalists, attended the show. The official slogan of the fair was “Future comes at Standard” because what we were calling the future yesterday, has already become today. An outstanding number of new full electric and plug-in hybrids vehicles with embedded computing technology were showedcased at the event.
Particularly interesting was the buzz about a video of Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen Group, who asked his engineers how it was that a competitor could develop a silent adjustment mechanism while VW and its German competitors could not. It shows how innovation-intensive and Intellectual Property-driven this industry has become.
The automotive industry is experiencing a major shift. Computing is used everywhere, from the design, to manufacturing, to the car in itself. In the past, the industry was facing long design cycles and qualifications. This was preventing cars from becoming connected. Now embedded computing is powering cars. I tend to compare this shift to the recent changes in mobile phones, moving from classic mobile phones that we used to receive and make calls and text messages to today’s fully-featured smart phones. In the same way, cars are moving from being mechanical cars to being intelligent cars. As cars become more and more connected, the security risks will grow. Today, I can start my car with my phone, but I know that tomorrow I will be able to do so much more. Cars will be able to monitor my behavior or send me an alert in real time if I am tired and falling asleep. I am excited by those new innovations, but also a little concerned. I have two young children so like any father I want to make sure that the car is safe and that nobody can take the control of my car, and with it, the destiny of my family. In fact, I want those systems to be not 100% but 200% secured
This was an important part of the discussion I was having with the car manufacturers I was visiting. We agreed that automotive system security was the next battleground. We also came to the conclusion that the ideal way to secure car computing was to include the security from the ground up rather than as an afterthought. This is exactly what we are doing at McAfee with whitelisting technologies with our collaboration with Intel leading to the DeepSAFE announcement and the embedded solutions we are offering with Windriver.
In two weeks from now, I will be travelling with some of our customers and partners to the wordlwide McAfee Security Conference in Las Vegas. There will be more to come about DeepSAFE and the latest innovations we will be able to offer to our customers, working with our partners.
Look out for regular updates!