Israeli Cymotive Company, leading provider of smart mobility cyber solutions, has signed extensive cooperation agreement with the leading vehicle manufacturer in Turkey, Ford Otosan Company, a subsidiary of Ford Motors focused on manufacturing and marketing heavy-duty commercial vehicles for local and European markets. Ford Otosan is planning on using Cymotive’s solutions to prepare its vehicles for compliance with the new EU regulations concerning cybersecurity and to identify potential vulnerabilities in connected systems.
The cooperation between Cymotive and Ford Otosan was born through Ford’s innovation center in Israel, which was looking for a local cybersecurity partner to assist the Turkish manufacturer. The first phase of this cooperation will focus on certifying F-Max diesel trucks developed by Ford Otosan.
Ford Otosan is jointly owned by Ford Motors and the giant Turkish industrial conglomerate Koç Holding, and it specializes in manufacturing trucks and heavy-duty tools. It currently operates five R&D and manufacturing sites throughout Turkey, and is capable of producing 450,000 vehicles annually. The company markets trucks to the Turkish market, the Middle East countries, including Israel and many East-European countries. Last March, Ford Otosan has acquired Ford Motors’ fabrication site in Craiova, Romania, as part of its strategic plan to expand to the West-European automobile market.
One of the barriers in entering the West-European market is complying with rigorous cybersecurity regulations. In order to achieve an EU vehicle-type certification, OEMs must comply with UNR 155 and UNR 156 regulations forms by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). These regulations draw the binding requirements regarding cybersecurity level of the connected systems and the electronic control units (ECUs) in the vehicle, and the communication channel used for remote software updates (Over The Air – OTA). These regulations are already in force within the EU and it is prohibited to market vehicles not complying with them.
Volkswagen’s Israeli cybersecurity company
Ran Borberg, Security Risk Assessment and Architecture Group Manager, explain in a conversation with Techtime: “We bring our automotive cybersecurity know-how and experience to this cooperation, especially regarding regulations and standards. Our solutions guide the manufacturers regarding the processes they have to perform in order to comply with regulations, and how to do that wisely at the aspects of risks assessment and threats profile, and we also carry out vulnerability assessments. Trucks have features and characteristics different from passenger vehicles, which influence the preparation of the model for regulation compliance. We have tailored a unique holistic service for Ford Otosan in the form of Certification as a Service (CaaS)”.
Cymotive was founded in 2016 as a joint venture of the German vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen and three Israeli founders, all former security system seniors: Yuval Diskin, former Director of the Israel Security Agency (ISA), CEO Tsafrir Kats, former Head of the Technology Division at the ISA and Dr. Tamir Bechor, former IT & Computing Division at the ISA. The Israeli partners hold 60% of the company’s shares, while the German company holds the other 40%.
Cymotive’s solutions automatically map all hardware and software components in the electronic control units (ECUs), locate potential vulnerabilities and recommend the best path for risk minimization. The platforms also checks and validates the vehicle’s compliance with the regulations. The company has reported that its solutions currently monitor more than 2 million vehicles of Volkswagen’s group , including Seat, Skoda, Porsche, Lamborghini, Ducati, Audi and other brands. The company employs 200 employees, most of them in offices at Tel-Aviv and Bar-Lev Park near Karmiel. The company also holds offices in Wolfsburg, Germany (next to Volkswagen’s headquarters) and an office in Sweden.