A hacker can access the steering wheel or the brakes of your automobile.
Sixty-one percent of connected vehicle owners who responded to a recent survey did not know that.
And 33% did not know that hackers can gain access to a connected vehicle using a key fob as a potential pathway.
The new study from online auto marketplace CarGurus shows that although adoption of connected vehicle technology is on the rise, consumers are not well-informed about the fact that the technology presents potential security threats.
The research also found that 65% of connected vehicle owners believed — incorrectly — that vehicle manufacturers must inform owners of software and security updates.
Overall, consumers participating in the CarGurus’ study scored a failing 49% average in a test of their connected vehicle security knowledge.
“Consumers are excited about the new technology features that come when devices are connected to their vehicles, be it voice-activated texting, listening to music or getting the help of a virtual assistant,” CarGurus’ director of customer insights Madison Gross said in a news release. “As people embrace these new technologies that improve the driving experience, they should also remain vigilant about keeping software up to date and staying aware of what data is being accessed and stored on their vehicle.”
CarGurus conducted the survey of 1,020 automobile owners in April 2019. Of those participants, 264 own a connected vehicle. The study surveyed consumers’ connectivity habits and perceived threats of connected technologies and tested consumers’ knowledge of data security vulnerabilities and best practices.
CarGurus said the following trend that the study found over the past year was interesting: Regarding vehicle smartphone integration, 70% of owners have synced their smartphones to their vehicles during that time. However, only 46% were willing to admit that they are not knowledgeable on industry best practices for keeping their personal data safe while they are driving.
More people are connecting to their cars, but they are still not aware of the security implications. Why? Although 45% believe smartphones to be a significant threat to data security, and 41% believe the same about laptops/tablets, 40% feel that way about smart speakers and 30% believe that about smart home devices, only 22% perceive connected vehicles as a significant threat to data security.
The study also showed that the younger the survey participant, the lower his or her perception of the security threat of connected vehicles. Fifty four percent of 18- to 29-year-olds saw connected cars as a minimal threat, compared to 42% of all respondents.