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Walsh College to Host ‘Automotive Cybersecurity: Threats and Opportunities” Webinar on March 8

New vehicles come equipped with devices and features that are making cars safer and more comfortable.

There are safety systems, like sensors that alert the driver about everything from low tire pressure to when it’s time to change the oil. There are also lights and buzzers to alert drivers about cars in their blind spots, or if they’re driving too close to the lane markers. The vehicle will even alert emergency personnel if the air bags are activated.

There are also comfort accessories, like Wi-Fi, satellite radio, heated seats and steering wheel, and a GPS system that can help drivers find the fastest route to their destination.

All of these conveniences, however, come with risk.

After all, a vehicle that is accessing Wi-Fi, has a phone plugged in or is being tracked by a GPS is connected to the outside world. Any vehicle with a sensor that can stop the vehicle without the driver’s assistance or can park itself has a computer on board.

That connection now means that it has cybersecurity issues, such as hacking personal information, invasion of privacy, and even the driver’s physical well-being.

Walsh College will host a complimentary webinar titled, “Automotive Cybersecurity: Threats and Opportunities” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 8. The webinar will provide an overview of the challenges facing the automotive industry in securing vehicles against unauthorized intrusion.

Barbara Ciaramitaro, Ph.D., CISSP, CSSLP, PMP, chair of Decision Science, professor of Information Technology and Cybersecurity, and director of the Center for Cybersecurity Leadership at Walsh, will host the webinar alongside Sam Abbott-McCune, an expert in automotive cybersecurity. “Automakers and their suppliers are working hard to resolve these types of issues, but there is a tremendous need for trained professionals in automotive cybersecurity,” Ciaramitaro said. “In this webinar, we’ll talk about some of the threats that are inherent in connected automobiles.”

The webinar is open to everyone, but it is geared toward current cyber specialists or those with an interest in automotive cybersecurity. It is a specialization that will continue to grow as the world features greater connectivity and autonomous cars.

“The idea behind driverless cars is the notion that eventually they will be safer than human drivers; they will prevent human error and distracted driving,” Ciaramitaro said. “But so much infrastructure work has to be done before this can become a reality. How do you secure the cars from being hacked? How do you prevent someone from tampering with the infrastructure?

“All of these questions will have to be addressed, and that’s why we’re offering this webinar, to start talking about the types of cyber professionals that will be needed and the issues they will face in the very near future.”

For more on “Automotive Cybersecurity: Threats and Opportunities” or to register, visit www.walshcollege.edu/webseries.

Walsh College is a leader in cybersecurity education, offering several degrees as part of its cybersecurity and IT curriculum, including the Master of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in cybersecurity (MSIT-CS).

Walsh College also offers a Cybersecurity Certificate, which consists of four to six courses, depending on the student’s prior education. The program is available to students holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Students who complete this certificate can apply up to 18 semester credit hours of advanced standing credit toward the MSIT, MSIT-CS, MSITL or dual MBA/MSITL programs.