- For the first time Lyft Inc. has a chief information security office, recently appointing Mike Johnson to the role, according to The Wall Street Journal. Johnson, who formerly worked at Salesforce, will report to Peter Morelli, vice president of engineering at Lyft.
- In July, Lyft announced plans to launch an autonomous-car development division based in Silicon Valley. Johnson will focus on improving security and privacy as Lyft moves into the self-driving car space.
- In a similar move, General Motors Co. hired two cybersecurity experts this week to work at its self-driving-vehicle subsidiary, The Wall Street Journal reports.
As ride-hailing, technology and traditional automobile companies push further into the autonomous vehicle space, security and privacy are huge concerns, and the potential damage to an organization's reputation could be damaging.
Cybersecurity concerns erupted in the automobile space once it was made clear how vulnerable vehicles are to cyberattacks. In July 2015, two security experts gained remote access to a Jeep Cherokee and took control of some vital functions of the vehicle, raising concerns about the safety of vehicles relying on computers to operate.
Lyft wants to ensure privacy and security remains a priority and hiring an experienced CISO should help. As Lyft grows its autonomous vehicle devision, Johnson will help prioritize security along with functionality.