Israeli-based Upstream, the creator of cloud-based cybersecurity and data management platform for the connected vehicles and smart mobility, is deepening its investment in Michigan by opening a vehicle security operation center in Ann Arbor.
The project, which is Upstream’s first U.S.-based vehicle security operation center, or vSOC, will be used to closely surveil and mitigate cyber threats and risks for its U.S. automotive clients.
“Upstream enables OEMs to build trust into the connected vehicles ecosystem. Our platform monitors over 12 million vehicles worldwide,” says Yoav Levy, CEO and co-founder of Upstream. “We see new attack surfaces and threats on a regular basis, fueled by a wide variety of vulnerabilities, including EV charging networks, expanded use of smartphone apps that control basic car functions, and infotainment systems. This is the right timing to open our U.S.-based vSOC, and Michigan is a natural choice.”
Data and connectivity are the foundation of the automotive industry’s transformation, unlocking new revenue streams and business opportunities for automotive stakeholders and users. But connectivity and mobility applications bring a wide range of cyber risks.
“Vehicles are benefiting from a wave of technology innovation, producing transportation that is safer and smarter thanks to connectivity,” says Faye Francy, executive director of Auto-ISAC, a global information sharing community established by automakers to address cybersecurity risks.
“The very technology that provides us with these new efficiencies also introduces potential cyber risk to the vehicle, and vSOC operations is an application for the automotive industry to proactively address the risk.”
Upstream found more than 50 percent of all reported automotive-related cybersecurity incidents took place during the past two years alone. At the Michigan vSOC, Upstream is hiring and training experienced local cyber and automotive experts to operate the vSOC, offer cross-functional response and mitigate attacks in real time.
“Companies continue to invest in Michigan because of our world-class talent, quality of life, low cost of doing business, and culture of innovation,” says Trevor Pawl, Michigan’s chief mobility officer. “Michigan remains committed to being the global epicenter of the next revolution of the automotive industry and we applaud Upstream’s continued success and investment in Michigan’s autonomous and electrified future.”
The Michigan-based vSOC is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. It adds to Upstream’s growing network of automotive-specific security centers already active in Israel and coming soon in Japan. Additional vSOC investments are expected in Europe soon.
“Southeast Michigan’s emergence as a high-tech mobility hub and its proximity to our automotive customers, their Tier-1 suppliers and cybersecurity talent makes it a perfect setting for our new vSOC,” says Levy, adding that traditional security operation centers focus on compliance and IT assets and lack the holistic and contextual view required to mitigate cybersecurity threats against vehicles, services and entire fleets.
“Customer experience applications, by OEMs and smart mobility providers, are one of the fastest growing attack surfaces and account for 6 percent of total attacks in 2022 so far compared to 2 percent in 2021,” says Yaniv Maimon, Upstream’s director of vSOC. “Charging stations and infrastructure have also become a significant concern, especially given range anxiety concerns and the constant pressure to accelerate EV adoption.”