QNX and Certicom partner for better automotive security

Coming from the TU-Automotive show in Detroit, QNX has announced a new partnership with Certicom in an effort to enhance automotive security. Both companies are subsidaries of BlackBerry, and while QNX focuses on the software distribution, Certicom's focus is on the protection of the content, applications, and devices. With a variety of new technology making its way to the automotive industry, like BlackBerry's recently announced IoT platform, security in automobiles is something that will need to be enhanced.

Press release:

QNX and Certicom Unite Security Expertise in Automotive

Partnership to bring strong security capabilities to automotive software applications and electronic components.

DETROIT, TU-Automotive Detroit 2015, Booth C92, June 3 — QNX Software Systems and Certicom Corp., subsidiaries of BlackBerry Limited, are working jointly to bring strong cryptography and entity authentication to the automotive industry. QNX Software Systems is an established leader in automotive infotainment and telematics, with OS and middleware technology deployed in more than 50 million vehicles. Certicom is an applied cryptography and key management specialist enabling end-to-end security for smart, connected devices. Through their partnership, the two divisions will provide a comprehensive security framework for automakers and automotive tier one suppliers, with pre-integrations that simplify the manufacture and deployment of secure, connected vehicles.

In-vehicle electronics are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attack, and attack surfaces continue to grow with the use of telematics systems, Wi-Fi hotspots, apps, and brought-in devices. Cryptography protects not only vehicle software, but also electronic components, by ensuring that messages between components come from authentic devices and have not been tampered with.

Certicom's security solutions for vehicles include portable cryptography toolkits, a managed certificate service to manage device identity, and the Certicom Asset Management System (AMS), which provides secure key distribution during the manufacturing process. Customers can use Certicom technology to provision a component with a secure key at the time of manufacture, then manage electronic subsystem keys throughout the vehicle's lifespan to secure module communications and to ensure that air bags, brake control modules, and other safety-critical components are not counterfeited, but manufactured by trusted OEM suppliers.

"QNX Software Systems and Certicom have collaborated successfully to secure high-volume telematics systems and now, we are bringing our combined expertise to a wider range of customers who are building on-board electronic devices, including those that run other operating systems," said Jim Alfred, vice president, BlackBerry Technology Solutions, Certicom. "Using our capabilities in concert provides manufacturers with a security framework they can leverage across the entire vehicle. Connected cars require faster development cycles, with security that is designed in from the start — not added as an afterthought. Our products offer a proven platform for achieving this."

"Our collaboration with Certicom addresses a critical need for security expressed by automakers and their suppliers, particularly as vehicles become more connected and autonomous," said Andrew Poliak, director of business development, QNX Software Systems. "The government-approved, multi-platform security of Certicom's technologies complements the inherent security capabilities of QNX® OS technology, which include a highly resilient microkernel architecture and fine-grained control of system privilege levels. Together, we are working to enable the comprehensive security needed for the reliable operation and mass adoption of the connected car."

This week, at TU-Automotive Detroit 2015, QNX Software Systems will showcase its automotive solutions for infotainment systems, digital instrument clusters, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), as well as BlackBerry's latest over-the-air (OTA) software update technology. Visit booth C92.