Connected vehicles, autonomous driving, doing business and cooperating across borders and in different nations: in an industry such as the automotive sector, information security is essential.
Manufacturers, service providers and suppliers are responsible for protecting their business information, not only for their own benefit but also for the sake of their customers and business partners.
TISAX® certification specific to your industry independently confirms that your company complies with objective standards when it comes to storing, processing, and exchanging information. In an industry where success depends on close cooperation between many international actors, this is essential.
Current developments in regulations
The regulatory landscape in the automotive industry is constantly changing. This is due to the effort to turn the rapidly changing technical and political framework into rules. Governments and regulators worldwide are committed to improving safety, environmental friendliness and consumer protection in the industry. Current issues the industry is facing include:
- Emissions standards: With climate change and air quality in mind, many countries have introduced stricter emissions standards. Examples include regulations to reduce carbon emissions and promote electric vehicles, such as the Euro 6 standard in Europe and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in the USA.
- Security standards: Governments are increasingly demanding measures to improve vehicle safety. Examples include active and passive safety system standards, such as Europe’s New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) and a similar program in the USA (US NCAP).
- Data privacy and cybersecurity: The rise of vehicle connectivity and vehicle data have shifted the focus to data protection and cybersecurity. More and more, governments and regulators are demanding that personal data be protected, vehicle communication systems secure, and cyber-attacks prevented.
- Autonomous driving: Once autonomous vehicles are introduced, regulatory issues are sure to follow. These can relate to liability, licensing, and operation but also touch on ethical questions. Governments around the world are working on legislation and frameworks to regulate autonomous vehicles safely and effectively.
- International cooperation: The automotive industry is a global one, so governments and regulators are working together to develop consistent and coordinated regulatory standards. For example, leaders in government and industry around the world are harmonising regulations and developing international safety and environmental standards jointly.
TISAX® gives companies strict guidelines on how to meet the high requirements of the automotive industry. And it allows them to prove their compliance through a certificate.
TISAX® assessments: a guide for CEOs
TISAX® stands for Trusted Information Security Assessment Exchange. It is an information security standard that was developed exclusively for the requirements of the automotive industry. The standard was initiated by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). Today, it applies throughout Europe.
TISAX® has been a registered trademark of the European Network Exchange (ENX) Association, an organisation of European automotive manufacturers and suppliers, since 2002.
The ENX Association is responsible for carrying out the TISAX® procedure, which is an assessment based on the VDA’s Information Security Assessment (ISA) catalogue of questions. TISAX® is largely a self-assessment.
The TISAX® procedure has the following steps:
- Defining the assessment objective
- Registering on the TISAX® platform and choosing an audit provider
- Initial assessment using the catalogue of questions
- Checking the corrective action plan if improvements are necessary
- Implementing the corrective action plan
- Follow-up assessment by the audit provider
Interested in a TISAX® assessment? This is how it’s done!
ROI for TISAX® certification: Business, trust and market opportunities
Exact figures on how TISAX® certification affects a company’s success are confidential and can be difficult to find.
What’s more, the return on investment for TISAX® certification varies from company to company. It also depends on factors such as the size of the company, what kind of business it is and market conditions.
But there is more to this calculation than financial numbers. Watertight information security builds trust with your customers. It also ensures that your business will be secure and successful in the long term.
TISAX® certification means you can:
- Minimise risks through active management
- Avoid security incidents and data breaches
- Raise employee awareness, particularly for information security and data protection
- Meet your customers’ requirements
- Improve your market access and competitive positioning
Perform a customised cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the ROI of TISAX® certification in terms of your specific business needs and goals. Talk to companies in the industry that have already completed the process. And discuss it with DataGuard experts with in-depth knowledge from countless projects and assessments.
What the future holds: Tightened TISAX® standards
In light of recent data breaches and security issues in the automotive industry, the TISAX® certification standard will be tightened. The industry is facing more difficult InfoSec challenges and needs to do more to mitigate these risks:
- Data security: Recently, the automotive industry suffered major data breaches. The result is that, in the future, the TISAX® standard will focus even more on data protection.
- Cyber security: Connected vehicles pose an increased risk of cyberattacks. That’s why TISAX® will focus even more on identifying vulnerabilities, protecting against cyber threats and making sure connected vehicle systems are secure.
- Vehicle safety: Problems with the physical safety of vehicles have demonstrated that effective risk management is essential. Updated TISAX® standards will focus more on vehicle safety.
- Innovations: The TISAX® standard will be continuously updated to reflect innovations in autonomous driving, electromobility and connected vehicles, among others. The safety aspects of technologies like these will lead to stricter regulations.
It’s up to you: TISAX®, ISO 27001 or both
Whether ISO 27001 or TISAX®, both standards define the requirements that an information security management system (ISMS) must meet. This relates to the design, implementation and operation of the ISMS. ISO 27001 defines the basics, so you can base your TISAX® assessment on it. But you can also use other InfoSec requirements, such as NIST SP 800-53, the BSI’s IT baseline protection or COBIT.
As far as their requirements for information security go, ISO 27001 and TISAX® are practically identical. The TISAX® requirements catalogue also contains specific measures for prototype protection and data protection. In a TISAX® assessment, these measures are separate protection objectives from information security.
So, if you have a TISAX®-compliant ISMS, it has already been optimised specifically for the automotive industry – and it already meets ISO 27001. Depending on its level of maturity, it might even go above and beyond.
Automotive suppliers don’t necessarily need ISO 27001 certification to operate as part of the industry supply chain. What it takes is a TISAX® assessment. It’s the minimum that purchasing departments of major automakers such as VW and BMW demand for projects that involve sensitive data. But there are also companies that expect their suppliers to have ISO 27001 certification in addition to TISAX®.
We recommend ISO 27001 certification – there’s no downside! Companies should go through all the steps and have the certification so they’re on the safe side in terms of information security.
If you’re an automotive supplier, whether that’s your entire business or only part of it, you should consider getting both certifications. ISO 27001 as the foundation for your company’s information security, plus an industry-specific TISAX® assessment.
If you want to learn more about how the standards differ or complement each other, you can read our article: ISO 27001 or TISAX®? Which audit do you need?
Your long-term commitment to information security
Information security means taking steps to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your company’s information. It is a continuous, iterative process. A long-term commitment to information security will benefit your company in multiple ways:
- Consistent security: Companies with a consistent information security strategy reduce the risk of security incidents. This allows them to minimise financial losses, legal consequences and reputational damage.
- Satisfied customers: Customers trust companies that protect their data. A long-term commitment to information security will build your customers’ trust in your company and strengthen your reputation.
- Competitive edge: Companies with a long-term commitment to information security who can demonstrate it to their customers and partners will have a lasting competitive edge. That opens up new potential and leads to long-term success.
- Compliance: Your long-term commitment to information security ensures that you meet legal requirements for full compliance. This reduces the risk of fines, legal consequences or other penalties.
- Renewal: With a long-term commitment to information security, your company undergoes a defined process. You review your security measures and adjust your controls to the changing circumstances. This ensures that your company can keep pace with new developments in information security.
TISAX® certification and long-term success
The automotive industry faces diverse and often unexpected technological, political, and social changes. Against a backdrop as uncertain as this, any company in the industry should take a close look at information security. Effective information security is your company’s only way to build trust and secure a long-term competitive edge.
TISAX® was developed to create a uniform degree of information security for all stakeholders. There has never been a better time to learn all about it!
We have a series of blog articles about TISAX®, including: What is the certification on TISAX®? or Assessments on TISAX®– what are they, what are the differences? Dive into this important topic now!
TISAX® is a registered trademark of the ENX Association. DataGuard is not affiliated with ENX in any way. We only offer guidance and support to companies who are preparing for a TISAX® assessment. The ENX Association assumes no liability for content published on the DataGuard website.