Nationwide’s venture-capital team has invested in Upstream Security, a San Mateo, California-based provider of cybersecurity for connected vehicles.
The investment is designed to help Upstream enable automakers 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 noted in a press release.
“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.”
Automakers around the globe are creating more and more connected vehicles. While the technology presents exciting new ways to help drivers, it also creates inherent cybersecurity risks. Those risks have made headlines multiple times in the past 18 months, culminating with consumer groups identifying connected vehicles as a potential national security threat.
Earlier this year, a report published by Upstream Security outlining the automotive-threat landscape spanning the past decade demonstrated that multiple stakeholders ranging from OEMs to commercial and public-sector fleets have been targeted. In many case,s attacks were executed indirectly via connected services and applications and from long distance.
“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.
The Upstream announcement is part of Nationwide’s commitment to invest more than $100 million of venture capital in customer-centric solutions, the company noted.