HSB Cyber Survey Finds Connected Car Tech Makes Consumers Uneasy
- Half of consumers sync smartphones with cars and trucks
- One-third worry about the cyber security of connected vehicles
- 51 percent are confused over what personal data is exposed
Consumers Worry About Smartphones and Smart Vehicles
U.S. motorists worry about possible cyber-attacks on their connected vehicles, a survey by HSB, part of Munich Re, reported today, and some even believe a hacker could confront them over their car audio systems or disable automotive safety features.
The HSB poll by Zogby Analytics found that 37 percent of consumers who responded were somewhat or very concerned about the cyber security and safety of connected and automated vehicles.
A similar number (35 percent) feared that a virus, hacking incident or other cyber-attack could damage or destroy their vehicle’s data, software or operating systems.
In a similar finding, 11 percent of those responding said they drive an electric vehicle and 50 percent of them were concerned that charging stations could be a point of entry for a cyber-attack.
Of the 55 percent of consumers who sync smartphones or other devices, 51 percent don’t know or aren’t sure what personal information is stored in their vehicle’s entertainment system.
“Our cars are more connected than ever,” said Timothy Zeilman, vice president for HSB, a provider of cyber insurance and services. “It’s hard for consumers to keep up with rapidly evolving vehicle technology and they wonder if their privacy and personal information is protected.”
Hackers on the Radio?
One in ten consumers reported a hacking incident or other cyber-attack had affected their vehicle, up three percent from a similar HSB poll the year before.
As connected technology continues to advance, some are concerned not only that their vehicle could be hacked, but also controlled by others remotely.
When asked what worried them most about a possible cyber-attack on their vehicle, 46 percent of consumers were very concerned a hacker might communicate with them over their audio system, perhaps to coerce them or demand a ransom payment.
Other top concerns were their vehicle being immobilized (25 percent very concerned), safety systems compromised (23 percent) and being locked out of their vehicle (14 percent).
The most common technologies installed in vehicles included Bluetooth (53 percent), navigation systems (42 percent) and vehicle safety sensors (39 percent).
Thirty-six percent of consumers owned smartphone apps that connected to their vehicles, while 24 percent had Wi-Fi or mobile hotspots that provided internet service on the road.
Note for the editorial staff
Survey Methodology - Zogby Analytics was commissioned by HSB to conduct a survey in December 2020 of 1,509 adults in the United States about their attitudes, experiences and concerns about cyber safety. Based on a confidence level of 95 percent, the margin for error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. That means all other things being equal, the identical survey would have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
HSB, part of Munich Re, is a multi-line specialty insurer and provider of inspection, risk management and IoT technology services. HSB insurance offerings include equipment breakdown, cyber risk, specialty liability and other coverages. HSB blends its engineering expertise, technology and data to craft inventive insurance and service solutions for existing and emerging risks posed by technological change. Throughout its 150-year history HSB’s mission has been to help clients prevent loss, advance sustainable use of energy and build deeper relationships that benefit business, public institutions and consumers. HSB holds A.M. Best Company’s highest financial rating, A++ (Superior). Connect with HSB on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Munich Re is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, primary insurance and insurance-related risk solutions. The group consists of the reinsurance and ERGO business segments, as well as the capital investment company MEAG. Munich Re is globally active and operates in all lines of the insurance business. Since it was founded in 1880, Munich Re has been known for its unrivalled risk-related expertise and its sound financial position. It offers customers financial protection when faced with exceptional levels of damage – from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake through to the 2019 Pacific typhoon season. Munich Re possesses outstanding innovative strength, which enables it to also provide coverage for extraordinary risks such as rocket launches, renewable energies, cyberattacks, or pandemics. The company is playing a key role in driving forward the digital transformation of the insurance industry, and in doing so has further expanded its ability to assess risks and the range of services that it offers. Its tailor-made solutions and close proximity to its customers make Munich Re one of the world’s most sought-after risk partners for businesses, institutions, and private individuals.
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