A Safer Future for Automotive: VinCSS and VicOne Sign MOU for Connected Car Vulnerability Management

By Alex Passett October 10, 2023

Though it may not appear on many sites’ FAQs, here’s a two-part question that people still ask:

“What are MOUs, and why are they important?”

A quick two-part answer, then on to why this is relevant to the following IoT news:

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a defined agreement between two parties that is a.) formalized in an official document, and b.) outlines the clear communication of mutually beneficial goals. MOUs are important because, not too dissimilar to letters of intent, they communicate and confirm the intentions of each party involved, and the path from initial desire to practical completion is detailed. MOUs can be great assets to business relations; they reduce known risks and miscellaneous uncertainties, prevent a possible future disagreement, align objectives for success, and ideally provide a bona fide framework for cooperation. (Note: Though formal, MOUs are not replacements for legal partnership contracts, for example; rather, they’re agreements of good faith that can make whatever legal proceedings are to come much easier.)

So, why are we talking about this today?

Well, MOUs in Internet of Things spaces (particularly between major corporations) are valued because of the inherent and rapid changes that evolve within IoT. The industry is prone to novel transformations (e.g. new forms of connectivity, shifting regulations, technological breakthroughs that lead to operational overhauls, etc.), so securing the necessary stability through agreed-upon stepping stones like MOUs is a smart plan.

That said, a huge MOU has been signed between VinCSS and VicOne that is expected to impact automotive cybersecurity and smart vehicle technologies for years to come.

For context, VinCSS researches, develops, and provides comprehensive cybersecurity solutions for IT, IAM, SCADA, and IoT systems; thorough penetration testing, defensive measures for MDR, and other threat-monitoring resources and more. And VicOne, on the other hand, delivers its own cybersecurity software and services, especially for the automotive industry; top-of-the-line automotive foresight, threat prevention, scalable and customizable assessments, and its frictionless intrusion detection and prevention system (IDPS) for electronic control units (ECUs). In short, VicOne protects automotive processes through entire vehicle lifecycles and provides OEMs full visibility and better ownership of connected vehicle components.

Now, it becomes clear why the VinCSS-VicOne MOU is important. But what, specifically, was formally understood via this memorandum?

Together, VinCSS and VicOne will combine their expertise to address growing security vulnerabilities in the automotive software supply chain, focusing on the protection of open-source ECUs. This is huge, since ECU vulnerabilities present substantial concerns as more open-source software components are incorporated – that means more layers of susceptibility to security flaws that may otherwise go unaddressed. This impacts the manufacturers, of course, but also renowned global suppliers and customers alike. (i.e. customers that will then be driving said vehicles)

Per Tin. T. Nguyen, Deputy Director of Automotive Cybersecurity at VinCSS:

“The alliance between VinCSS and VicOne is both strategic and visionary for securing smart vehicle technologies at the component level. We share a core goal – a safer and more connected automotive future. In this era of rapid technological evolution, such collaborations are pivotal. As we unite our complementary strengths, the automotive cybersecurity landscape is poised for a transformative journey towards safety, innovation, and excellence.”

And per Edward Tsai, vice president of Strategic Partnership for VicOne:

“Smart vehicles provide enhanced reliability, diagnostics, and superior connectivity. In that same breath, they expand the attack surface across the connected car ecosystem, making software vulnerabilities a crucial part of this growing threat landscape. So, this has to be countered with an all-encompassing solution. That solution will be born from the shared commitment to improving efficiencies between VicOne and VinCSS.”

With their MOU signed, VinCSS and VicOne have taken a major leap toward what the years ahead may hold for smarter securities in connected vehicles.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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