Issued in September 2021, ISO/SAE 21434 sets out to achieve some grand ambitions in automotive cybersecurity. Titled "Road Vehicles — Cybersecurity Engineering," the automotive cybersecurity standard seeks to establish:

  • Executive management commitment to product development and cybersecurity engineering
  • Standardization of the roles and responsibilities of vendor and suppliers in automotive cybersecurity  
  • Standard, industry-wide terminology related to cybersecurity engineering throughout the supply chain

This international standard from ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) and SAE International (a worldwide association of over 128,000 engineers and other technical experts) provides guidance and requirements for cybersecurity risk management related to the engineering of electrical and electronic systems within road vehicles. 

As its objective, the ISO/SAE 21434 standard looks to improve the security of automotive systems and secure them from cyber threats. 

Key aspects of ISO 21434 include:

  1. Risk Management Framework: ISO/SAE 21434 establishes a structured approach to identify, analyze, and mitigate cybersecurity risks throughout a vehicle's lifecycle.

  2. Cybersecurity Management System: The standard specifies engineering requirements for cybersecurity risk management activities for electrical and electronic (E/E) systems in vehicles, their components and their interfaces. 

  3. Product Development: The standard sets guidelines for secure product design, development, and testing. This includes considering cybersecurity in the early stages of design and integrating it throughout the development process.

  4. Production, Operation, and Maintenance: The standard covers the need for cybersecurity measures in production processes and emphasizes the importance of maintaining cybersecurity throughout a vehicle's operational life, including software updates and vulnerability management.

  5. Incident Response and Management: ISO 21434 sets guidelines for preparing and managing cybersecurity incidents, including detection, analysis, and response strategies.

  6. Documentation and Traceability: The standard emphasizes the importance of documentation for all cybersecurity-related processes and decisions, ensuring traceability and accountability.

ISO/SAE 21434 highlights the need for improvements in the cybersecurity of connected automobiles, their components, and automobile systems. It's a significant evolution in the cybersecurity requirements for automotive manufacturers, suppliers, and other stakeholders in the automotive industry, as it provides a comprehensive framework for addressing the complex and evolving cybersecurity challenges in modern vehicles.

How Does Finite State Support ISO 21434?

The Finite State Next Generation Platform provides comprehensive reporting capabilities that align with the ISO/SAE 21434 standard and support our automotive clients' Cyber Security Management Systems (CSMS) in achieving compliance by offering:

  • Report Generation for Compliance: Finite State’s platform offers versatile reporting capabilities that can be tailored to meet the specific requirements of ISO/SAE 21434. Our pre-formatted CSV reports provide a solid foundation for compliance-related reporting. Additionally, we offer the flexibility to create custom reports that align with your unique compliance needs.
  • Integration with Other Compliance Tools: Understanding that compliance is an integrated process, Finite State is equipped to produce outputs that integrate with your existing applications and tools used for ISO 21434 compliance. This ensures that vulnerability assessment data flows coherently into your broader compliance framework.
  • Support for ISO/SAE 21434 Requirements: Key aspects of ISO/SAE 21434, such as Threat Analysis and Risk Assessment (TARA), identification of vulnerabilities, and risk management, are well-catered by our platform’s capabilities. Our approach to vulnerability assessment and reporting aligns with the standard’s requirements for continuous identification and management of cybersecurity risks in the automotive sector.

Collaborative Configuration Process

Finite State works closely with our customers to ensure that our reporting capabilities remain in lock-step with your specific compliance needs. Just provide your detailed requirements for compliance reporting, and we will work to productize an export format that meets these needs. This collaborative approach ensures that our solution not only meets the current standards but also remains adaptable to compliance requirements as they evolve, change, and mature in the automotive industry.

Through Finite State’s advanced reporting capabilities and our commitment to customizing these to align with your specific needs, we are confident in our ability to support your adherence to ISO/SAE 21434 standards. Our goal is to provide a seamless, integrated solution that bolsters your cybersecurity posture while ensuring compliance with this and other critical automotive cybersecurity standards.