UWindsor and Block Harbor Forge Partnership to Advance Automotive Cybersecurity Education and Innovation

Block Harbor and University of Windsor

WINDSOR, Ont. — The University of Windsor's SHIELD Automotive Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence has partnered with U.S. automotive cybersecurity specialist, Block Harbor, to enhance the automotive cybersecurity knowledge and skills of engineering students.

This comprehensive partnership aims to merge Block Harbor's decade of experience in automotive cybersecurity engineering with the University's talent pool and research capabilities, addressing some of the industry's most pressing challenges.

In 2021, the United Nations Regulation No. 155 came into effect, requiring all road vehicles sold in member states to undergo audits, including assessments of protective measures against cyber threats. Consequently, all new vehicles produced from July 2024 must clear this audit. The regulation's impact is already evident as certain non-compliant vehicles are being withdrawn from European markets.

A critical component of the type approval audit is testing the vehicle against a catalogue of threats and suggested mitigations outlined in the regulation.

Leveraging its vast experience in automotive cybersecurity testing, Block Harbor works closely with type approval auditors and government agencies to develop and implement a series of tests, collectively termed the Breakwater UNR155 Mitigation Test Suite. In this collaboration, Block Harbor will supply the University of Windsor with Breakwater test cases that integrate seamlessly with their Automotive Cybersecurity Penetration Test Platform.

"The automotive cybersecurity sector faces significant challenges, notably the scarcity of professionals with the necessary specialized skills and the lack of effective tools," said Wenjuan Lu, Director of Product at Block Harbor.

"We're eager to collaborate with the University of Windsor to provide their students with up-to-date knowledge and in-demand skills. Our joint projects aim to develop valuable tools for integration into our advanced Vehicle Security Engineering Cloud (VSEC) platform, enhancing cybersecurity engineering processes with a comprehensive platform that supports automated security testing, threat and risk management, compliance checks and more."

"Given Detroit and Windsor's close proximity, we anticipate numerous opportunities for regular and meaningful interaction," said Mitra Mirhassani, co-director of the SHIELD Automotive Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence. "SHIELD was founded with the objective of nurturing experts in this dynamic field. Automotive cybersecurity demands a practical approach, making the partnership with Block Harbor pivotal in bridging the gap between the University and the industry."