Regulus Cyber: Securing the Automotive Industry from Emerging Threats

June 17, 2018 0 comments

Cybersecurity highly impacts the automotive industry. Continuous innovation and the increasing complexity of systems in vehicles is driving the need for built-in security solutions and architectural design to mitigate threats. The goal of automakers today is to ensure vehicles are protected even in a malicious operating environment. In an exclusive interaction with Analytics Insight, Yonatan Zur, CEO & Co-Founder of Regulus Cyber, tells us how the fast-changing dynamics in the automotive industry is putting security into the driver seat, especially when the driver isn’t a human.


Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization and the services that your company offers.

Regulus is the first company looking at sensor security as its primary focus. Sensors in cars, drones and robots are the heart of the autonomous revolution. But, unlike connected car security, little attention has been given to securing these sensors – from GPS to LiDAR to Radar and cameras. Sensors are prone to different physical hacks that can be achieved without hacking into the ECUs of a car via the Internet. This could pose serious dangers to any platform dependent on sensors. Regulus provides security and redundancy to the mission and safety critical C2 communication that allows command, control and data transfer between the vehicle and a control center, or other vehicles in the network. C2 today suffers from security weaknesses and lack of redundancy and robustness. This is where we come in – developing Pyramid – the first “Security Center” for vehicles and other platforms, defending both communication and sensors such as GPS, LiDAR and Radar from smart physical hacks.


Mention some of the awards, achievements, recognitions that you feel are notable and valuable for the company.

Regulus won the first place for Cyber Security for its Pyramid suite at AUVSI 2018, and was the finalist at the Cyber Storm startup competition of 2016 and a finalist of the US Ministry of Defense CTTS3 “Combating Terrorism Technology Startup Challenge”. Regulus was also a finalist at the 2017 Ernst & Young’s the Pitch Startup Competition. Regulus was selected by NASA and the Northern Plains UAS test site to take part in the NASA Unmanned Traffic Management flight testing. Regulus is already piloting with companies such as SwissDrones, AT&T and others.


Kindly mention some of the major challenges the company has faced till now. 

While connected car security has been already identified as a major threat to safety, the issue of physical attacks on vehicle sensors (a car, drone, robot or ship) is still at an early stage of recognition. These threats allow a hacker to attack sensors like GPS, LiDAR, Radar and cameras, potentially interfering with the operation of the vehicles, and even taking control of it. These threats are real, but both the aviation and automotive industries are just starting to acknowledge them. For Regulus, it’s both an opportunity and a challenge – as we are the first to really deal with it, we also need to make the market realize the level of threats.


Please brief us about the products/services/solutions you provide to your customers and how do they get value out of it. 

Regulus is developing the Regulus Pyramid Security Center Suite:

1. Pyramid SVS – Sensor Validation System for Sensor Dependent Vehicle

Defending the GPS/GNSS, LiDAR and Radar from smart physical hacks. This is a combination of an external, independent sensor to identify, alert and mitigate attacks against sensors, both locally and in a fleet/network environment, with a monitoring and management system for full security.

2. Pyramid SP – GNSS Spoofing Protection

Pyramid GPS SP is the first available component of the SVS – the first commercial grade, multi-constellation navigation solution with robust, built-in GNSS spoofing and jamming defense. GNSS spoofing attacks are becoming easy to create by anyone with a $300 kit and open source software.

3. Pyramid CSM – Communication & Security Manager for Vehicles

Enabling unparalleled secure communication for any vehicle with C2 and mission channels (LTE, point-to-point, satellite). Adds robust external AES encryption in GCM mode with authenticity, communication links redundancy with automatic switching, and RF mapping capabilities. The CSM CL adds an onboard cellular data link with global SIM cards, allowing immediate cellular connectivity and link redundancy with another point to point data link and a relay service cloud support.


What does your technology and business roadmap look for the rest of the year? 

Regulus released the CSM and CSM CL for pilots and is expecting a commercial product by the end of Q3 2018. The GPS SP will start evaluation with leading OEMs and Tier1 companies in Aviation and Automotive in Q3, a commercial product coming early 2019. The SVS full suite to start evaluation Q3-Q4 2019.


What are the concerns that organizations have before using Pyramid? 

While a lot of efforts and money are invested in securing the vehicle from cyber attacks on the ECU via the internet connection, little is done to prevent sensor attacks. This is also due to the complexity of such solutions – they need to be done at the sensor level – but sensor companies need to keep the price down, the size down – and have their sensor operative on a car for 10-15 years, and over the air security updates in the case of sensors are not always relevant. Regulus adds a dedicated simple passive sensor to the vehicle, a sensor that is in charge of identifying, mitigating and reporting attacks against other sensors. This way, we allow for a simple integration, and easier updates, without a need to integrate into the different sensors installed in the car. This will give better security, a lower price of integration, and a better and easier way to keep the suite updated with the advancements of threats.


What is the edge your company has over other players in the industry? 

Regulus was founded by technical and operational veterans of the Israeli Air force, 8200 (the Israeli Army’s elite intelligence unit), Elbit Systems, Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries, with years of experience in sensors, communication, encryption and unmanned systems. We bring unique abilities into a complex field of sensors, RF, hardware and mobility. We are also the first to really address this problem for the commercial market, bringing years of experience in the military and defense markets.


Which industry verticals are you currently focusing on? And what is your go to market strategy for the same? 

The Pyramid suite is unique by being an external dependent solution. As such, it can be either integrated at the OEM level, or as an aftermarket solution. Regulus is currently focusing on the OEM and Tier 1 levels of both Aviation and Automotive but is also testing aftermarket versions of the technology with end users of SMBs in the Drone industry. We aim for being integrated into future sensor dependent vehicles – and possibly also working with aftermarket clients.


What is your Leadership Mantra?

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” (Amelia Earhart)

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