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First chapter of automotive cyber security research group establishes chapter in Windsor

Dave Waddell, Windsor Star
July 13, 2020

In a world where so much information is available at the click of button, shared knowledge and connections about what is happening in automotive cyber security has been much harder to find.

University of Windsor assistant professor Ikjot Saini and AJ Khan, who heads his own firm CloudGRC, are hoping to change that with the launching of the first two Canadian chapters of the Automotive Security Research Group.

“We’ve surprised them with the numbers,” said Saini, who is also a member of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association’s Cyber Security Committee.

Saini added the organization is an excellent fit for the region.

The Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network has already designated Windsor as the province’s centre for excellence for cyber security and border logistics.

Saini has already reached out to the Institute for Border Logistics and Security to form new partnerships.

“I’m new to the area, so we want to reach out to everyone involved in auto security,” Saini said.

Saini added firms in other sectors of the economy, such as tech, safety-related industries, automation, artificial intelligence, insurance and anything to do with a supply chain, will also be interested in the platform.

With the auto industry acting like a black hole sucking in sectors of the economy never previously connected to it, Saini said there are great cross-sector opportunities in cyber security in Ontario.

The province already has one the largest and fastest growing tech sectors in the world and automotive is arguably the biggest driver of new research and development.

“It used to be at cyber security conferences it was mostly tech companies, but now there’s momentum being developed in automotive security,” Saini said.

“Connectivity is the large picture, it’s become more about smart cities. Once you have that internet of vehicles, it’s just one part of the internet of things.”

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