Easy and secure access to the vehicle with the digital car key

Easy and secure access to the vehicle with the digital car key

Smartphone instead of car key

Constant companion of our present times: the smartphone. We pick it up several times a day to check the news, make phone calls or use various apps that make our lives easier. Wouldn’t it also be extremely practical to have a mobile app that conveniently unlocks and locks the car? Such apps have been around for a while, but there are still security concerns. Attacks on digital car apps have already been mentioned in the media several times. As a result, many drivers will be reluctant to use a digital car key. However, if a multi-layer security framework were integrated during the development of such apps, there would be no need to worry about a lack of security in the future.

Commentary from Torsten Leibner, Head of Product Management and Technology bei Build38

It sounds so simple: I install an app and can use it to comfortably open and close my car via smartphone. So where does it fail, that not every car owner wants to make use of a digital car key? First and foremost, because of the lack of trust in the security. Sentences such as “That’s far too insecure” or “Better not, later my vehicle will still be hacked remotely” are often heard. But if you take a close look at the issue of maximum and sustainable security as part of the planning and early implementation phase of an app, these concerns are unfounded.

Meanwhile, there are frameworks on the market that contain all the necessary security features and can be integrated within a few minutes during the development process of a digital car key app. They combine In-App Protection, In-App Reaction and In-App Monitoring in one solution. The advantage for app users is that they can benefit from the comfort of the digital car key without having to worry about any security risks. In turn, app operators from the automotive industry address more customers with a completely secure application, thus strengthening trust in the brand and the technology. In addition, such a software development kit enables a faster launch of the app.

Protect keys in the smartphone optimally

Developers of a mobile car key app can use a modern framework to directly integrate all the necessary security functions at once. This includes, in particular, protection through hardware-based security such as the Silicon Vault. This leaves them more time to concentrate primarily on usability, which is also important. A suitable solution uses cryptographic technology to prevent the secret keys from being accessible to third parties. The secure storage of the keys also offers the advantage of being able to unlock and lock the vehicle even without a sufficient connection – for example in an underground car park. To make it difficult for hackers to decrypt, a professional framework is made available to developers and providers as an inherently protected library. In this way, hackers can be prevented from accessing the digital car key. In addition, a corresponding solution makes it possible to detect whether the digital car key is running on an original or a rooted device.

So, what speaks against using such a framework and ensuring that even more owners of future-proof cars use a mobile car key?

For specific practical experience, see our case study with Chongqing Changan Automobile Company.