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The capabilities of modern technology are rapidly accelerating, digitalising aspects of our lives far beyond the computer screen. Today, our phones, home appliances and health devices can monitor, communicate with, and control each other - unfortunately this has resulted in our devices and their data becoming increasingly vulnerable to hackers.

The cyber-risk for technologically advanced cars, for example, is significant: As our cars become more connected, the risk of cybersecurity breaches increases on board, from data theft to taking control of the vehicle’s functions. While the cybersecurity sector charged with combatting vehicle hackers is booming, the quickening advances in car technology can make keeping up a constant battle. A new standard has just been published to help manufacturers get one step ahead.

ISO/SAE 21434, “Road vehicles – Cybersecurity engineering” addresses the cybersecurity perspective in engineering of electrical and electronic systems within road vehicles. It will help manufacturers keep abreast on changing technologies and cyber-attack methods, and contains a framework which defines the vocabulary, objectives, requirements and guidelines related to cybersecurity engineering. Ultimately, this will have the benefit of creating a common understanding throughout the supply chain for electrical/electronic systems in cars.

The standard was developed by ISO’s “Road Vehicles” subcommittee for “Electrical and electronic components and general system aspects,” in collaboration with the International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). As a result of drawing on inputs from experts around the globe, the Standards offers comprehensive, robust and up-to-date guidance to automotive cybersecurity.

NSAI’s own e-committee, NSAI/TC 048/SC 14, “Road Vehicles – Electrical and electronic components and general system aspects” has been closely following this ISO committee’s work, allowing Irish industry to be actively engaged in similar standards coming “down the road.”

You can purchase ISO/SAE 21434:2021 at