Harman announced at the CES 2016 show in Las Vegas it was acquiring TowerSec, a global automotive cyber security company specialising in network protection for connected vehicles. The acquisition's technology will be integrated into Harman's 5+1 security architecture aimed at protecting the critical points of vulnerability in the connected and autonomous car, including hardware, network and Over The Air (OTA) updates.

TowerSec has developed real-time, embedded software security products to protect vehicles from hacking and intrusions. Founded in Israel with a strong base in Michigan and Germany, its core products, Ecushield and Tcushield will be integrated into Harman's systems. Ecushield is a real-time ready product which embeds to allow any ECU or gateway to detect and prevent hacking, intrusion and critical communication disruptions. Tcushield is integrated into Infotainment systems and telematics units to protect against unintended and potentially harmful wireless communications.

"We cannot sacrifice security for functionality," said Harman chairman, president and CEO Dinesh Paliwal, . "By acquiring TowerSec's best-in-class suite of network protection software and gaining the expertise of their highly experienced security engineers, we will build on Harman's 5+1 security framework, already the most comprehensive in the industry, and ensure that we remain one step ahead to protect existing and future connected systems."   

"While we have been partnering with Harman as a supplier, now we will leverage the company's scale, network and deep connected car domain experience to meet the demands of our target markets, including providers of gateways, body control modules, and TCUs, as well as automotive OEMs and other Tier 1 suppliers," said Saar Dickman, CEO of TowerSec.

The deal is subject to the usual closing conditions and regulatory approvals.  

Harman last year acquired Redbend, a premier provider of OTA updates for automotive and mobile, and Symphony Teleca, the software services company with deep expertise in cloud applications, mobility and analytics. Among its hundreds of automotive, enterprise and software clients are Microsoft, Google, Intel and Cisco.