COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Automakers around the globe are creating more and more connected vehicles. While this 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.
As a company that looks to protect the current and future needs of its customers, Nationwide recognizes the potential threats these security risks pose to our customers and OEM partners. Further, Nationwide understands the need for establishing a security framework for connected cars that protects both the vehicles and the infrastructure connecting them.
Nationwide's venture capital team has invested in Upstream Security, a leading provider of cybersecurity for connected vehicles. The investment is designed to help Upstream enable OEM car manufacturers 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 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."
"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.
Earlier this year, a report published by Upstream Security outlining the automotive threat landscape spanning the past decade demonstrated that multiple stakeholders ranging from OEM vehicle manufacturers to commercial and public sector fleets have been targeted. In many cases attacks were executed indirectly via connected services and applications and from long distance.
"We are thrilled to have Nationwide support our vision of transforming automotive cybersecurity in the rapidly evolving smart mobility market," said Yoav Levy, Upstream CEO and co-founder. "It's exciting for us to partner with a company that's been instrumental in providing the insurance needs of millions of vehicle consumers and we clearly share a similar vision: to ensure our connected vehicle future is safe and secure."
The Upstream announcement is part of Nationwide's commitment to invest more than $100 million of venture capital in customer-centric solutions. Other venture capital investments include Snapsheet, Vestwell, Socotra, Betterview, Nexar, BlueVine, blooom, Insurify, Next Insurance, Matic and Sure.
Nationwide's innovation journey
In addition to Nationwide's venture capital efforts, the company has implemented other new solutions to meet member needs now and in the future.
- Nationwide recently announced that in late 2019, the company will launch SPIRE - a simple, easy-to-understand digital auto insurance platform, built on fair and straightforward principles and designed to be convenient and accessible from your phone.
- Nationwide announced a partnership with Slice Labs to develop on-demand rideshare insurance solutions for drivers who work for transportation network companies (TNC), such as Uber and Lyft.
- Nationwide plans to open a new innovation center in the Arena District near its Columbus, Ohi0-based headquarters in 2019.
About Upstream Security
Upstream Security is the first cybersecurity solution designed specifically for protecting connected vehicles from cyber-threats or misuse at rest and in motion. Protecting connected cars is a complex problem involving multiple layers (driver, telematics, mobile application, vehicles, fleets), mountains of data flowing at high speed and a specialized and discrete understanding of smart mobility business and usage type. Upstream's platform is entirely cloud-based and seamlessly ingests and normalizes automotive data to deliver cybersecurity insights that ensure vehicle security and safety is never compromised.
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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