Utimaco, a leading global provider of IT security solutions, is sponsoring Hansen Motorsport AB’s World RX Team this Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a decision that not only allows them to support one of Europe’s most innovative electric rallycross teams but draw attention to the underappreciated field of automotive cybersecurity.
In Utimaco’s recent whitepaper ‘Circles of Trust: How the UK Public Perceives Digital Risk, the research found that members of the public across european countries, the UK, Germany and Spain, were all enthusiastic about the digital features in their vehicles, but many have worries about the security of those vehicles. The survey found that in the UK, 51% of drivers are worried that their movements could be tracked and 45% are worried that stored payment information could be taken.
As with other aspects of our increasingly connected society, the findings identified that vehicle manufacturers and security providers need to work to educate their customers about the security systems in their vehicles and to improve those systems to the point that high-profile ‘hacks’ are less of an issue.
In light of this perception of cybersecurity within the automotive sector, Utimaco’s sponsorship of Hansen Motorsport AB is a strategic decision to draw attention to how vehicles are increasingly also digital devices, and this means that they need to be kept secure. Many drivers don’t know about the level of security present in their vehicles or best practices for keeping them safe.
Hansen Motorsport AB has been competing in rallycross since 1990, becoming one of the most illustrious names in the sport’s history. Team founder Kenneth Hansen and his sons Timmy and Kevin Hansen have been consistent front-runners in the World RX series since 2014, winning the Teams’ title in 2015, 2019 and 2021. The 2022 World Rallycross season is the first to use all electric vehicles (EVs), and the team was the first in the competition to unveil its car, a Peugeot 208 with a powerful Kreisel powertrain that its founder, Kenneth Hansen, called “the biggest thing we’ve ever done”.
“Hansen Motorsport AB is an innovator in its field, always pushing the boundaries and developing new technologies. Their development of a fully electric rallycross car shows that, like ourselves, they have an eye to the future of their field, ” says Ansgar Steden, Chief Revenue Officer at Utimaco. “We see this as another step in pushing the envelope around cybersecurity in the automotive space. Every new car sold today has at least some kind of wireless connectivity, and some have dozens of connected components often sourced from multiple OEM manufacturers. Without high-grade digital security this could be an extremely dangerous situation, but we’re making it possible for drivers to know that they are safe when driving.”
Kenneth Hansen, Founder of Hansen Motorsport AB, adds: “We are very proud to be sponsored by Utimaco and to carry their logo into our races. They are a company that has been in the lead when it comes to cybersecurity for decades now, and we recognise the important work that they are doing to secure vehicles on the road.”
Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which takes place each October, was created in collaboration between the U.S. government and industry to ensure that every American has the resources they need to feel safer online. Similarly, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) is partnering with the Commission and Member States in carrying out #CyberSecMonth. The EU’s annual campaign is dedicated to promoting cybersecurity among EU citizens and organizations and providing up-to-date online security information through awareness raising activities and sharing of good practices.