IT security plays a critical role in the automotive sector: Focused on innovation, carmakers and parts suppliers greatly fear industrial espionage and idea theft, so they expend considerable energy to ensure their trade secrets remain protected. Companies like Ford and Daimler have their own factory security personnel controlling access to their manufacturing facilities. Smartphones, laptops and tablets with integrated cameras normally have to be surrendered before anyone enters a production or development site. And VW even recently ordered a system to counter drones in order to prevent aerial spying.
IT Security for the automotive industry with TISAX
So it’s no wonder then that carmakers also put a premium on security for their virtual environments. The German Automotive Industry Association (VDA) even has its own questionnaire about data security (ISA – Information Security Assessment) based on key aspects of the international standard ISO/IEC 27001. VDA members use it, for example, to check suppliers and service providers dealing with sensitive information from a carmaker.
In order to avoid multiple checks of a single supplier, VDA developed the TISAX model (Trusted Information Security Assessment Exchange). It provides manufacturer-independent recognition of a firm’s data security measures across the entire automotive industry by creating a common standard. The VDA began implementing TISAX as a binding standard for registered companies starting in 2017. Since then, more and more carmakers have begun requiring TISAX certification as a precondition for any potential collaboration with outside firms.
The good news for users of the Open Telekom Cloud is that Deutsche Telekom’s public cloud offering is already approved for all IT applications of the German automotive industry. The Open Telekom Cloud received its TISAX certification in January 2018. Carmakers and their suppliers can use the resources from Deutsche Telekom’s data centers located in Germany as a secure IT environment for their data processing – without having to undertake a time-consuming security check beforehand.
This is also a big advantage for creative agencies: These service providers have had to prove regularly since 2014 that they adhere to the data security standards of their automotive clients. Now thanks to TISAX, agencies can effortlessly switch from one client to another without fulfilling another raft of data security measures. And when they work with services from the Open Telekom Cloud, the agencies also save the effort of getting their own certification – meaning they can immediately start working for a prospective automotive client.