Around the globe, more and more connected vehicles are being created by automakers. Inevitably, new technology brings more cybersecurity risks in addition to the exciting opportunities to help drivers. These risks have made headlines multiple times culminating with consumer groups identifying connected vehicles as a potential national security threat.
As a company that looks to protect the current and future needs of its customers, Nationwide recognizes the potential threats these security risks pose to customers and OEM partners. Further, Nationwide understands the need for establishing a security framework for connected cars that protects both the vehicles and the infrastructure connecting them.
The venture capital team at Nationwide has invested in Upstream Security, a leading provider of cybersecurity for connected vehicles. The investment is designed to help Upstream enable OEM car manufacturers and fleets to detect, monitor and respond to attacks, targeting any part of the connected vehicle framework – even for vehicles already on the road.
“Nationwide understands that the safety and security of connected vehicles go hand-in-hand.” said Erik Ross, leader of Nationwide’s venture capital team. “As technology in vehicles becomes even more sophisticated, security is a critical building block and Upstream’s solution focuses on protecting our members in the evolving mobility ecosystem.”
“As mobility continues to evolve with technology, it will be important for carriers and vehicle manufactures to keep up with customer protection needs,” said Tony Fenton Nationwide’s vice-president of Commercial Underwriting and New Product Development.
Upstream Security published a report earlier this year that outlined the automotive threat landscape spanning the past decade and showed that multiple stakeholders ranging from OEM vehicle manufacturers to commercial and public sector fleets have been targeted. In many cases attacks were executed indirectly via connected services and applications and from long distance.
“We are thrilled to have Nationwide support our vision of transforming automotive cybersecurity in the rapidly evolving smart mobility market.” said Yoav Levy, Upstream CEO and co-founder. “It’s exciting for us to partner with a company that’s been instrumental in providing the insurance needs of millions of vehicle consumers and we clearly share a similar vision: to ensure our connected vehicle future is safe and secure.”
The Upstream announcement is part of Nationwide’s commitment to invest more than $100 million of venture capital in customer-centric solutions. Other investments include Snapsheet, Vestwell, Socotra, Betterview, Nexar, BlueVine, blooom, Insurify, Next Insurance, Matic and Sure.
In addition to these investments, Nationwide has continued to make progress in the innovation space:
- The company announced that in late 2019 it will launch SPIRE – a simple, easy-to-understand digital auto insurance platform, built on fair and straightforward principles and designed to be convenient and accessible from your phone.
- Nationwide also announced a partnership with Slice Labs to develop on-demand rideshare insurance solutions for drivers who work for transportation network companies (TNC), such as Uber and Lyft.
- Near it’s Columbus, Ohio-based headquarters, Nationwide plans to open a new innovation center in the Arena Districtin 2019.