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Canadian Auto Cyber Preparedness Report 2021: Cybersecurity and the Automotive Sector

Every year, vehicles are becoming smarter and more connected to our technology, ourselves, and the world around us. Likewise, the operations processes in the supply chains that develop these vehicles are also moving deeper into digital advancement stages. While the future of automation for smart vehicles holds promising potential in everyday advantages, such as increased safety and connectivity, it’s of critical importance that organizations understand and learn how to prevent the growing risks to their cybersecurity.

“If there’s one message that rises above the rest, it’s that cybersecurity is a necessity for survival. Industry innovation is a worthy pursuit, but even with a mix of optimism and caution, the risks of cyber vulnerabilities cannot be ignored by any means.”
– John Heaton, Cybersecurity Lead, KPMG in Canada

The Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) and KPMG in Canada have researched and developed the 2021 Automotive Cyber Preparedness Report to offer insights into the industry’s current status in cybersecurity measures, and to urge the importance and value of continued cyber awareness in Canada’s modern automotive organizations.

Outcomes from APMA and KPMG in Canada’s 2021 Automotive Cyber Preparedness Report

It’s no surprise that cybersecurity has emerged as one of the greatest recent threats to the automotive industry, but did you know that a single cyberattack on an automotive supplier is estimated to cost upwards of $1.1 billion (USD) in lost revenue? With more data-sharing, cloud collaborations, and remote working, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for automotive organizations to protect their sensitive digital assets. That prompts the question, what can be done to prevent these damaging and invasive cyberattacks?

Key Findings

To collect these results, APMA and KPMG in Canada surveyed hundreds of Canadian manufacturing businesses in the fall of 2020 on their experiences, perspectives, and preparedness levels in relation to cybersecurity in the automotive sector. Here are some key discoveries:

  • 710 organizations have not changed their funding around digital transformation and cybersecurity initiatives, despite the impacts of COVID-19.
  • 30% of organizations have experienced a breach in the last 12 months.
  • 78% of companies now have staff that operate on a work-from-home basis.
  • 2 in 5 organizations have not conducted or are only now in the process of planning for cybersecurity testing.
  • 49% of organizations stated that they don’t have a designated individual driving their cybersecurity strategy.

Additionally, the report found that organizations listed the top barriers to cyber preparedness as: lacking the right talent to look after cybersecurity measures, having low visibility into the key risks, having lack of support from leadership, and an unclear return on investment.

“In a world where a cyber breach is a “when”, not an “if” circumstance, it’s essential to be proactive, having all the right resources in place, internally and/or externally, to be able to respond effectively and efficiently when it happens.”
– Alexander Rau, Partner & Cyber Response Lead, KPMG in Canada

The positive news is that automotive manufacturers are undoubtedly aware of the risks and challenges posed by cyberattacks, and they recognize that a strong cybersecurity strategy means a brighter future, not only for the success of their own business, but for all of Canada’s automotive sector. The more effective automotive organizations become at preventing cyber incidents, the less likely they will be to occur driving forward.

Access to the full 2021 Automotive Cyber Preparedness Report by APMA and KPMG

Investing in Cybersecurity Measures and Digital Transformation with Canadian Government Funding

APMA and KPMG in Canada are helping Canadian automotive businesses by offering resources that can help manufacturers assess their cyber risks, along with providing educational leadership and programs that enable greater awareness.

As for financial support to help offset costs associated with improving cybersecurity strategies and digital transformation within your organization, there are government grant and loan programs such as the National Research Council’s (NRC) Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) which covers up to 60%-80% of internal technical labour and subcontractor expenses for technology adoption projects.

Similarly, the NGen Manufacturing Program offers up to 50% to a maximum $8.8M in grants per application for collaborative technology development and application projects that help Canadian manufacturing companies compete globally.

Download our free Autonomous Car Trends White Paper to learn more about the growing electric and autonomous vehicle industry and ensure that your business is on the optimal path by developing and implementing an automotive innovation strategy.

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