White House spotlights EV cybersecurity in climate push

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The White House cyber team on Tuesday gathered private sector leaders for a discussion focused on how secure electric vehicles will be key to achieving the Biden administration’s climate goals. 

The Office of the National Cyber Director held a meeting at the White House with electric vehicle industry executives, who talked about cybersecurity gaps in their organizations and gave recommendations on how to improve cyber standards across the industry.

Government officials also noted that building an electric vehicle ecosystem that is secure and resilient is crucial to achieving some of the administration’s climate policy objectives, which include increasing the production of electric vehicles to 50 percent by 2030.

The bipartisan infrastructure law passed last year includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, while the Inflation Reduction Act passed earlier this year included billions in tax credits for new and used purchases of the vehicles. 

“All participants emphasized the need to accelerate construction and deployment of this critical infrastructure while ensuring that, as Americans increasingly rely on it, we are confident in its security and resilience,” said a readout from Tuesday’s meeting. 

Participants said they will work to assess the current state of cybersecurity standards in the electric vehicle ecosystem and identify ways for both the public and private sectors to accelerate improvements. 

Other emerging vehicle like autonomous cars have also been a point of discussion among industry leaders.

Experts have warned that the shift to autonomous vehicles may pose greater cybersecurity risks as cars become increasingly connected to the internet to operate. 

Although still hypothetical at this time, the experts said cyberattacks on autonomous vehicles are very much in the realm of possibility. 

A poll conducted by two tech organizations found that more than 60 percent of U.S. consumers believe that cyberattacks targeting self-driving cars are “a big deal,” but also said that an attack should not prevent the use of autonomous vehicles. 

The polling also found that nearly 40 percent of consumers believe that self-driving cars will be seen on roads regularly within the next five years.

This week’s meeting is the latest gathering between government officials and private sector leaders to discuss the current cybersecurity landscape in critical sectors and ways to strengthen all parts of critical infrastructure. 

At the last meeting, the leaders discussed cybersecurity in the health care and public health sector.

Tags cybersecurity Electric vehicles Joe Biden Office of the National Cyber Director
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