Essay: Security Issues in Telematics/OnStar Services

Essay: Security Issues in Telematics/OnStar Services
April 13, 2011 Comments Off on Essay: Security Issues in Telematics/OnStar Services Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

Sample Essay

The potential boom in growth of Telematics is gradually being understood and in some of the literature available Telematics is being compared with PC in terms of growth that it is going to witness. It is predicted that the advancement in Telematics will allow for the connection of devices such as PDA and smart phones to it which will encourage further data based services. Even the current generation of Telematics networks, such as OnStar, still require transfer of private, sometimes sensitive information between the vehicle and/or the driver and the service provider.

This transfer of information brings in several issues related to its security.  The basic security issues that can be found in Telematics networks such as OnStar are confidentiality of the transferred information, its integrity and the identification and access control of communicating parties. This need so made secure through the use of a secure authentication and encryption architecture. Furthermore, it is also needed to assured that in case any program is downloaded from the service provider to the vehicle embedded system, it should be completely protected from unauthorized access which could result in malicious code being inserted into the program. Executing such a modified or corrupt program on such a system could be extremely dangerous. Therefore a method is needed to ensure that a program is digitally signed and is verified at the execution point before it is executed. In addition, it also needs to be realized that for Telematics services provision Internet and public wireless networks are used which are inherently prune to security flaws. Therefore, it is required of the service provider to ensure that all the mission critical applications as well as transfer of personal information are secure, particularly during its transfer from and to the vehicle and the service provider. For this purpose, a secure connection over the wireless public networks is needs, which can be satisfied using two fundamental approaches.  The transfer of sensitive or confidential information can be made secure through the implementation of the Wireless Transport Layer Security Protocol (WTLS) which is similar to Secure Service Layer (an application layer protocol) and is defined in WAP protocol. The second solution to this issues the use of Virtual Private Network (VPN) through the use of IPSec protocol. The WLTS, part of the WAP protocol, offers a lightweight way of addressing the transport of contents issue over bandwidth and hardware resources restricted environments such as hardware devices using for OnStar Telematics network. However, it is often considered as lacking the necessary security that is required for mobile applications with stringent security requirements. Furthermore, the use of SSL on the application layer would mean that each application would require additional code to support SSL which would increase its hardware space requirement. The IPSec VPN, on the other hand offers, an end-to-end secure way of transferring information over the public network that is much better than WLTS. It is reliable, scalable and does not need any application layer protocol for providing its services. However its biggest disadvantage is that its complex algorithm takes a long time to process information on processors with low computing power. Therefore, many companies also use proprietary encryption algorithms as replacement to overcome this problem (Maya Software Technologies, 2001).

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