Upstream & Wipro Discuss Securing Connected Car Services



– Okay, well, hi Dharam, and welcome to Upstream’s “Tech Talk” series. I’m Fay from Upstream Security and we offer the first, cloud-based cybersecurity solution that’s purpose-built to protect connected vehicles and smart mobility services from cyber threats and misuse through the use of data. I’ll be the host of this Upstream “Tech Talk” and handing it over to you for a quick introduction.

– Thank you so much, Fay. Nice talking to you again and thanks for having me I’m Dharam Sheoran. I head Wipro’s automotive business. So all the work that we do for OEMs, stream and suppliers, as well as some very interesting technology companies which are working in that industry. So I’ve been with Wipro for a long time, and yeah, that’s me.

– So, you know, I’m particularly interested in the automotive space. Before we dive into the depth of this conversation, can you just give our viewers a little bit of a recap of what Wipro does specifically within that space?

– Yeah, so, you know, automotive is one of the core industries for us and we work across the value chain of automotive, right? From product development, engineering, to you know, manufacturing, sales and marketing, and across Wipro services of engineering, IT consulting, application development, BPO services. So we work really across the entire spectrum. And more recently we have developed a lot of IPs around connected services, autonomous vehicles and as well as in, you know, sales and marketing areas like online car-buying and warranty and so on and so forth. And more recently we launched our Connected Vehicle Services Studio, which is the latest offering.

– Beautiful, so I know along, you know, within those industries that you work with, you’re working with the automotive industry, which right now is that shift to connected cars and the services that are involved with that connected-car ecosystem. So as a company that works to integrate those things, can you highlight a little bit more about what those services look like? What are those services that you see shifting or changing when it comes to the connected-car ecosystem and space?

– Yeah. Today’s vehicles are becoming another digital asset or a device in our life. They are no longer just a car of passion of driving and commuting and people are expecting more and more from the cars, from vehicles. It could be motorbikes it could be other connected vehicles that, you know, we are using in our daily life and the way we see that people are expecting more and more personalized experiences as we interact, or as we use our cars, we are expecting the car should know me as an individual. It should know my preferences at a basic level about controls that are gonna mix navigation, drive and vehicle management. Can I take my preferences as I move across vehicles? So the platform and the OEM, or, you know, should know me as the individual. Can the car adjust to different drivers for example, in a family who may be using it? So these are some of the basic services, how you experience the car. Then it integrates with my extended work of a world of entertainment, work, payments, marketplace, connections with infrastructure around me. I go to my office, I go to a parking station. I go and pay tolls. So how does this car connect? Do I want to buy a coffee? Can I pre-order and I just pick through a driveway? So we are expecting a lot more how it just extends and seamlessly enable the world for us. If you’re no longer driving in future, so can I work in my car? So can it be my workspace? So we are expecting more and more. And so those are the kind of services that we are expecting from future vehicles. And also we are expecting, like we use for our devices, can it grow with me? So it is not a static device, which you buy and use for, you know, three years or five years or seven years. It is, you know, can I get new updates? Can I, you know, get new applications? So everything which is happening, can it continue to evolve as I’m expecting or as the features are available? So those are, I think, some of the unique things that we are seeing, are unique services which are being delivered in today’s vehicle. And, you know, we at Wipro are working in the midst of it and delivering these services. We recently launched our Connected Automotive Services Studio, where we bring together a lot of these capabilities and deliver these services.

– It seems like kind of a perfect world there with all of these different services and opportunities for users, as well as OEMs. I’m sure there’s complexities involved in, you know, that integration. Could you touch on that? What are some of the complications that you see with the integration process?

– Yeah, it is, you know, as you can imagine, it is… there is a whole lot of ecosystem which has to work together to bring these services. And it is… so the first complexity is, how do you make it all work together seamlessly? And it’s not just the OEMs, it’s not just the tier ones who primarily deliver, you know, used to deliver most of the car, which, you know, we are using. It is the, you know, the edge infrastructure providers, the digital infrastructure, which goes into the car. It is the chips-and-sensors providers. It is the connectivity and IOT players. It is all those V2X connections with the infrastructure around us, the app developers, the connecting gateways which deliver the services of, you know, entertainment, work or commerce, which we talked about. So it is… and the service providers like us who work to integrate these different services. So it’s really understanding the whole ecosystem bringing the best of those capabilities to make sure that, you know, we have leveraged the best of every player to deliver these services. And this is continuously evolving, for example, with, you know, 5G coming in, it gives us lot more capabilities to kind of almost connect in real time. So how do we leverage that? And the second, if I were to just add, another aspect is the multi-disciplinary talent which is required to deliver these services, because it is not the traditional, just the software development or just engineering services. For example, just to give you a real example of our Automotive Connected Vehicle Services Studio that we are talking about there, across Wipro, we have brought different teams to deliver these services. We have brought our experience designers from Wipro Design and Wipro Digital, who are looking at, you know, from a user-centric design perspective, how the experience should look like and how we design those experiences. We have our product engineering team which are looking at in-car engineering, in-car development and how we look at each service as a product and do the entire life-cycle management of the product. You know, we are bringing some of the unique IPs like auto insight, which has the pre-configured services. We have our autonomous and ADAS platform, which is, you know, which we are bringing into this. And of course our, you know, digital services, expertise of development, validation, security services, and so on and so forth to bring it all. So it’s really a very diverse talent and team that we have to put together to deliver these kinds of services. And that’s kind of another complexity I would see from at least two different angles.

– You know, with all these players that you mentioned, it seems to be quite an element of trust needed in order for all of these things to work, in order for the integration to be successful, in order for all the services to work, because, you know, of all the different people involved and all the different organizations or processes involved, how do you look at trust and securing those services? And particularly, I’ll go in a little bit more deeper. How do you work with organizations or companies like Upstream when it comes to that security element of these services?

– Yeah, that’s a great question, Fay, and see, trust is the foundation to deliver these services in today’s connected vehicles, because just, you know, if you look at industry and some of the research firms have shown that, you know, when we go look to buy a car, we look at the different features, different, you know, things that we are looking in a car, but how many of us were looking at, is my vehicle secure? Maybe that was not a case a few years ago, but if you see now, it’s north of 50% people who are looking, is my car secure? And it depends across different geographies, different countries, but you’ll see a big percentage of people are actually looking at trust and security as a foundation for their connected vehicles. And the exposure is not just to your vehicle. With all this my world connected through my car, you know, my rest of life is also exposed. It is my identity. It is my financials. It is my, you know, multiple aspects of our life. So…

– Yeah and access through a vehicle can lead to server access which can lead to exposing a lot of elements with either you as an individual or an OEM even has that vulnerability.

– Of course, yeah. So the threat factors have really increased, you know, with the kind of capabilities which exist in today’s car. And we are, you know, from a security perspective, we are looking at security, you know, from a product design and development stage to the actual application development. And then as well as the ongoing monitoring of these connected vehicles. So for example, security and validation services for software, firmware, authentication, provisioning and deployment, decommissioning some of the services, very important. And then the ongoing updates and real-time monitoring. So all of this, you have to really look at security through the entire life cycle, right? From the design to the actual usage and end-of-life of the vehicle. And while we have some of these native capabilities of engineering and, you know, running the cyber threat management platforms, I think the second part of your question, the partnership with Upstream, brings a great capability because Upstream brings a unique IP and platform which can take the real-time data from the vehicle and do the threat intelligence across so many hosts or different threat factors and through the insights which can be actioned upon. And we as a company have the capability to run, at global scale, the cyber threat management centers. And we have the cyber threat management platform where we can integrate solutions like Upstream to deliver the real-time monitoring services. And, you know, that’s something that we have done. So we have taken these, you know, we have come together and we have set up Vehicle Security Operations Center. We have three operational now across North America, Europe and Asia. And so this is a great partnership. And, you know, the capability that Upstream brings is really helpful to deliver these real-time monitoring services for millions of connected vehicles which are out there in the field.

– Great, and you know, we’re really happy to work with you as well. I think we’re running short on time here. So I’m gonna hand it over to you to say any last will and testaments, any last things that you want to let our users know, or our viewers know. Handing it right back to you to close this up.

– Yeah, so it’s an exciting space. You know, we will see more and more of such a amazing services and features evolve in the future of vehicles. You know, I love every day when I read. Just recently I read about Mercedes and their vision avatar vehicle concept vehicle. They’re talking about not driving, but creating a bond with your car through your heartbeat and fingerprints.

– That’s incredible.

– So, you know, it’s amazing what the future holds for us. So really excited to be part and contribute to this transformation and great to have partners like Upstream in this industry and in this journey.

– Great, well, thank you so much for joining me today. I really enjoyed this call and I think we covered a lot.

– Yeah, thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

– Pleasure, thank you.

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