NEW YORK (TheStreet ) -- Cyber security has become an enormous focal point for all industries, not just the technology industry, as cyber terrorism threats become more prevalent. Perhaps no industry is in need of more safety than the automotive industry.
On GM's (GM ) second-quarter earnings call, CEO Mary Barra said the automaker is actively working on keeping its vehicles protected from threats, especially as vehicles become the next mobile device.
"We've been working on this for a couple of years now and we're very active in the way we look at the whole system," Barra said. "We look at levels of security and with vehicles being on the road for 11 years now and as we move towards more connectivity, we need more layers of protection. Then we need protection for
over-the-air (OTA) connectivity as well."
A recent article in Wired demonstrated the ability to hack a Jeep vehicle, while the driver was still sitting inside. Hackers were able to fiddle with the vehicle's air conditioning, the radio, windshield wipers and eventually cut the vehicle's transmission.
Spending is expected to increase on cyber threats as they continue to become more prevalent. Research firm Gartner said it expects IT security spending to increase 8.2% to $76.9 billion in 2015.
Cars are increasingly becoming mobile devices, thanks to the prevalence of 3G and 4G connectivity being built in. Currently, there are several GM cars that have 4G LTE connectivity, including the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu, 2015 Buick Regal, Lacrosse, 2015 GMC Yukon, 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe and several others. (For a full list, click here .)