Dear Tesla Motors Inc: Security Is Not A Retrofit

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The bedrock of a good life is security. From infancy through school, at work, at home, in our vehicles, in our online activities – we all want both physical and virtual security.

Tesla Model S lacks security

It was revealed last week that venerable automaker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) (you know, the one that designed and manufactured the $59,000 – $100,000+ electric Model S) had less-than-optimal security around the iOS app that lets Model S owners unlock their cars. The problem was an easily cracked password system that allowed persistent hackers to both find and unlock the high-end cars.

If the luxury Tesla has weak password protocols, what might that say about what’s in place in the less exotic vehicles driven by the rest of us?  What might that mean for drivers?

The Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) mishap is a microcosm of much larger technology security concerns.

As the auto industry moves closer to autonomous vehicles in the next several years, the security of the multiple systems needed for driverless vehicles should be an imperative. If someone hacks into a vehicle’s systems – more than just the lock system like in the Tesla — what might the results be? Could a hacker remotely disable the vehicle? Could someone with ill intent cause a car’s airbags to deploy while the vehicle is operating on the highway?

These types of security concerns are certainly not unique to automakers. Our lives are increasingly touched by automation and connectivity in our homes, at work — everywhere. Security must be the bedrock rather than an afterthought.  Technologies exist today that remove the vulnerabilities by eliminating single points of failure.

Let’s not be those people who install alarm systems after being burglarized. That’s security as a retrofit, and it’s simply not practical in our increasingly connected world.

By: Mayukh Gon, CEO and Founder, PerfectCloud

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