The Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay. From digital entertainment to life-saving healthcare, the potential is limitless. And consumers are ready. They continue to demand the services, safety, and intelligence delivered by IoT-enabled connectivity. Enterprises are also benefitting as they transform business models and create new revenue opportunities. At Cisco, we continue to be a strategic advisor and innovator in this space to help our customers thrive in our ever-changing, connected world.

One industry where connectivity demand is soaring is automotive. The connected car market is expected to grow to more than $215 billion in the next five years. Research by McKinsey finds that 40 percent of consumers would change car brands just to gain more connectivity in their vehicles.

And that’s no surprise. Cars are now traveling computer networks that connect to devices around them, as well as to the Internet, making them safer and more secure than ever before. Plus, 5G-enabled capabilities extend communication, safety, and detection between cars, as well as to pedestrians, road infrastructure, and connected roadways.

Guy in front of Data Center

Innovation Driven by Custom Testing and Labs

Our Cisco Security Assessment and Penetration team, part of our CX Americas Technology Transformation Group, helps customers navigate this journey with a series of secure connected vehicle testing services. One of these services is high-touch, connected car component vulnerability testing, where we’re working with leading auto manufacturers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan.

To protect against sophisticated hackers, we reverse engineer auto parts and then simulate computer attacks via Bluetooth, cellular, Wi-Fi, and 5G. Our advanced testing work has proven to be critical in detecting vulnerabilities across devices and improving passenger safety. Because of the value we bring, our testing has been significantly expanded across our automotive customers’ ecosystems and is also now a requirement for their suppliers.

“With our dedicated labs, domain expertise, and proprietary hardware, we’re able to identify vulnerabilities more quickly and effectively,” said Jason Royes, Senior Manager, CX Americas, Technology Transformation Group. “As a result, our customers go to market with the confidence they need that everything under the ‘computer hood’ is running safely and securely – and is protected against attacks. It also gives them the support they need as they continue to innovate in the connected car space.”

Expertise, Chips-to-Cloud Services

As part of our connected car services, we view the entire picture of a car’s computerized components and sensors. Cisco’s chip-to-cloud services provide this view, spanning early-stage security design review, secure code analysis, and penetration testing. It’s an expertise matched by few others in the industry.

As a result, we’re able to serve as security subject matter experts to help identify and defend against vulnerabilities in both IoT devices and their associated infrastructure throughout the product development lifecycle. Because most automotive manufacturing groups work in a very siloed fashion, our full-view approach provides them with a huge advantage.

For example, a large auto manufacturer was considering introducing a new Android-based head unit – also known as the car’s infotainment system. Before making a decision, they wanted to be assured of the system’s security capabilities. Our team reverse engineered the firmware to discover a way to place the device in debug mode. They uncovered a new USB interface and were able to gain unauthenticated root access over the USB. Having this critical information prevented the manufacturer from making a costly mistake.

Our services tee up implications and benefits for other highly vulnerable industries. Currently, we’re also working with customers in medical device security, industrial, manufacturing, and utility environments.

Driving into the Future

I’m proud to know Cisco is helping to ensure the continued transformation of the auto industry, paving the way for mass electric vehicle production and autonomous driving. Our innovation and deep security expertise in services strategy, hardware, chip, cloud, and applications make us trusted advisors for auto manufacturers for the roadways of today – and tomorrow.

It’s an amazing time as we help lead innovation for connected cars. And it doesn’t stop there. IoT continues to transform our world in ways we’ve never imagined. I’m intrigued to see what’s coming next.

Meanwhile, this is my inaugural blog as the new SVP for CX Americas. I’m honored to lead such an incredible team and work with some of the most innovative customers. I look forward to meeting many of you over WebEx soon and face-to-face at Cisco Live in 2022!

To learn how we can help identify security vulnerabilities for your
business, contact the
Cisco Assessment and Penetration team.




Building Security in from Chips to Cloud



Alistair Wildman

Senior Vice President

Cisco Customer Experience (CX)