Securing Your Car’s Data With Flash Technology

By Alberto Troia - 2018-07-20

At the Autonomous Vehicle Software Symposium 2018 that I recently attended in Messe Stuttgart, Germany, Micron introduced a new opportunity to enhance secure communication inside the vehicle — between the connected gateway and local electronic modules. Micron’s flash security offering, Authenta™ technology, allows the coexistence of secure and nonsecure applications on the same bus while still retaining compatibility with the existing bus network inside the vehicle.

Connected Gateway and Security

The architecture of cars is evolving; the only external access point on the latest cars is the on-board diagnostic (OBD) port to a central, secure gateway architecture, as shown in the figure below.


Autonomous cars require constant software updates through this OBD connector. For example, a vehicle owner may purchase new services or features that require firmware changes in one or more electronic control units of the vehicle. Similarly, malfunctioning equipment might require a local (in-car) update using the OBD tool or the OTA/SOTA methodology. The updates must occur using the legacy buses within the vehicle and then be propagated throughout the vehicle as appropriate. These software updates must be completed in a secure manner to avoid a “man-in-the-middle” attack, component replacement or component reprogramming. Micron can help.

Security Is Key

In autonomous driving, safety and security are key. Modern security requires automobile content to be transmitted and stored in a protected manner. This protection should defend against unauthorized (whether malicious or accidental) changes. This content is usually stored in a nonvolatile memory device like those designed and manufactured by Micron. Micron is working closely with the automobile industry to develop cutting-edge memory security solutions that facilitate improved data transfer and storage security using cryptographic techniques and keys to facilitate security and safety designs engineered by automotive system developers. To learn more, visit Micron’s Authenta Technology and Automotive Memory Solutions pages.

Allen Holmes

Alberto Troia