Cybersecurity Leaders – Eldad Raziel, Head of Cybersecurity at the Alliance (Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi) Innovation Lab
Cybersecurity Leaders – Eldad Raziel, head of cybersecurity at the Alliance (Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi) Innovation Lab in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Groupe Renault, Nissan Motor Company and Mitsubishi Motors represent the world’s largest automotive alliance.
As part of his role, Eldad Raziel manages the Lab’s relationship with Israeli startups in the field of automotive cyber security, including scouting and evaluating companies through feasibility tests and prototyping efforts (POC).
Raziel brings with him 15 years of experience in cyber positions in Rafael, Unitask, National Bank and other financial and technological entities. He is a graduate of MAMRAM, the IDF Computer Center and Information Systems.
Head of cyber security at the Alliance Innovation Lab in Tel Aviv sounds like a very high-pressure, high-stakes job. What is the right profile for this job?
Being Head of Cybersecurity in the Alliance Innovation Lab Tel Aviv indeed means being exposed to an intense environment: scouting for start-ups, planning joint projects and evaluating the technologies, which can be very different from those embedded to IT/OT.
You therefore need to have both a wide expertise and management capabilities, and you have to be able to juggle between a lot of different tasks.
In addition, as part of this role, you need to work closely with the corporate teams, which are very international, with people in Japan, France and the US. Working with other cultures is a plus and we need to make the most of it. You therefore also have to be a team player and to have good networking & interpersonal skills.
Finally, I believe you need to have a can-do attitude to bring innovation into a huge organization such as the Alliance (half a million people).
How do you communicate information security issues to the various Alliance security teams around the globe?
As vehicles become more connected, and as part of the digital transformation of the organization, our mission consists of helping the corporate in adopting an ever more innovative approach.
We have an ongoing and strong working relationship with the different teams in charge of in-vehicle, IT and OT environments in France and Japan. It is key for the Lab to understand their respective roadmaps in order to scout and evaluate relevant solutions for the near future and longer term. We are working in both push and pull modes.
Sometimes, we identify a great innovative solution and push it to a specific stakeholder, sometimes we collect specific requirements for which a solution should be found.
Although I cannot share details, we already have proven success stories in this way of working
Almost everybody agrees that organizations need a culture of security. How can security leaders help facilitate that type of culture?
In the automotive world, there is now a growing understanding that the connected, shared and autonomous future will be possible only with a strong cybersecurity dimension. There is a lot of investment in this field.
Our role, as security professionals and leaders, is to explain that cybersecurity is an enabler for the advanced technologies that are transforming the industry. We have to expose all vulnerabilities and, at the same time, to emphasize the most urgent issues.
Making people understand the security aspect related to their field of activity is also part of our duty. We do it through exposure to relevant issues and training when necessary. On our side, as security leaders, we need to take business needs and issues into consideration
What unique security challenges does your industry face?
The Automotive industry is going through a real revolution. In the coming future, vehicles will communicate data, interact with their environment (V2X), and they will also get increasingly autonomous.
They are becoming computers on wheels and “remote endpoints”. Consequently, vulnerabilities are much more numerous. In the past vehicles were isolated, without any connectivity.
Today, we need to constantly work to address these risks which are constantly evolving. The industry has to find supplementary ways to monitor the vehicle in order to identify and mitigate these risks in the vehicle or coming from the outside (end-to-end detection and prevention). The safety and security of cars are clearly crucial for automakers. To make it possible, automotive manufacturers need to bring a lot of new expertise, which the Alliance has been doing strongly.
Can innovation and Cyber Security go together?
At the Alliance Innovation Lab, this innovation and cybersecurity definitely go together. The Lab’s mission is to bring innovations in cybersecurity into the organization. We have scouted and evaluated a lot of very promising solutions worldwide.
There are today a lot of new technologies emerging in the automotive ecosystem, from in-vehicle IDPS and host protection to cloud-based end-to-end detection.
In addition, and as already mentioned, we see cybersecurity as an enabler for the integration of other technologies we are looking at. For instance, if we want to add a new connectivity feature or a new sensor to a car, they need to be protected. Therefore, innovation technologies cannot move ahead without cybersecurity.
How has industry cooperation made an impact on cybersecurity?
The mission of the Alliance Innovation Lab is to collaborate with external players and the larger ecosystem. The idea is that today, in all fields, developing everything inside the organization is not possible. We also need to focus on Open Innovation and to leverage the innovation offered by the industry and the start-ups.
The Alliance firmly believes in this approach and has put important means to fulfil this goal. Israel is a particularly strong innovation pool, and this was one of the reasons why a Lab was set up here by Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. The team consists of two expats from France: Antoine Basseville, Director, and Etienne Barbier, CTO, and an Israeli team of experts and project managers. In addition to Cybersecurity, the Lab deals with Sensors and AI/Data.
The Lab also has vehicles on which technologies, including Cyber-related ones, can be tested as part of POCs.
With less than 2 years of activity, we have already seen a positive impact of this Open Innovation approach on Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi with some solutions from Israeli start-ups starting to be implemented.
In addition to the Lab, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi launched a CVC, Alliance Ventures. This strategic venture capital fund has identified Israel as one of the key hubs worldwide, and has already invested in an Israeli Cyber Security start-up, Upstream and in Maniv Mobility Fund.
Cybersecurity Leaders – Eldad Raziel