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ConnectedCyber Survey Finds Electric Vehicles Drive Data Security Fears

Cyber Survey Finds Electric Vehicles Drive Data Security Fears

Small business owners are adding electric vehicles to their service fleets, a survey released today by HSB reports, but they worry about cyber security when connecting them to public charging stations.

The HSB poll conducted by Zogby Analytics found 15 percent of small and medium-size businesses had leased or purchased electric vehicles (EVs) for commercial use.

Three-quarters (76 percent) of those business owners and managers were concerned EV charging stations could be a target for hackers, ransomware, and other cyber-attacks.

“The technology is advancing swiftly and there is a growing need to focus on the cyber security of electric vehicles,” said Timothy Zeilman, vice president for HSB, part of Munich Re. “With the rush to make the switch to electric cars and trucks, owners and the EV industry should step up their efforts to protect vehicles and charging infrastructure from cyber-attacks.”

EV Chargers Could Add to Cyber Risks

The plug-in electric chargers communicate with vehicles through an internet connection and security experts warn the systems could be hacked.

These potential threats add to the concerns of small business owners, who were already worried about the cyber security of their commercial vehicles.

The HSB survey found almost half (46 percent) were somewhat or very concerned about the cyber exposures and safety of internet connected and automated vehicles.

Commercial Vehicles Vulnerable to Attacks

When asked about their own experience, 13 percent of the business owners and managers said that at some point, a computer virus, hacking incident, or other cyber-attack had damaged or otherwise affected their commercial vehicles.

Overall, 44 percent of those responding to the poll said they fear that malware, or another cyber-attack will damage or destroy their vehicles’ data, software, or operating systems.

Most of them (56 percent) are somewhat or very concerned their vehicles could be immobilized or made inoperable, their safety compromised (54 percent), and that a hacker could communicate and confront them over their audio system (43 percent).

Survey Methodology

Zogby Analytics surveyed 504 decision makers at small and medium-size U.S. businesses online for HSB about their attitudes and experiences about cyber security and habits. Most businesses were in business and consulting services, retail, infrastructure and construction, and healthcare. The results were reported in September 2021. Based on a confidence level of 95 percent, the margin for error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey would have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.

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