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Well trained space security specialists are crucial because protecting a satellite that people around the globe rely on requires a plan beyond software updates and new passwords.

Satellites have a series of points of vulnerability, rather than a single-entry point that’s easier to defend because a satellite isn’t just sitting isolated up in space. Satellites are controlled from the ground and the information from satellites is relayed through the ground – exposing an entire communications network.

But it’s not just satellites that have raised red flags among space professionals.

NASA, for example, is especially concerned about future space missions. Security against malicious attacks has become a major issue. CEV and other space vehicles require a reliable, safe and secure means of communication. Malicious attacks can jeopardize lives and mission success.

NASA space security experts believe reliable and secure space communication software can only be developed with a unified end-to-end approach for the design, analysis, implementation and certification, which is based upon rigorous logical and mathematical foundations.

One proposal has been a set of tools integrated into a software process which, given an intuitive, yet concise definition of all protocol requirements (e.g., using the Unified Modeling Language UML) can automatically perform the necessary analyses, support simulation, and automatically generate all required artifacts (code, documentation, certificates).  

According to NASA, because all software development steps are derived from one high level specification of the protocol and its properties, results of all analyses and the generated code are always in sync, thus eliminating many errors which would yield the communication software insecure.

In other words, formal-based tools for protocol optimization (e.g., to accommodate low bandwidths / low computational requirements), and automatic, tamper-proof certification can provide explicit guarantees about important reliability and security properties and the absence of implementation errors.  

The desired result: a tremendous increase in correctness and reliability of the communication software can be obtained–technology which in turn leads to better security.  

Want to know more? Tonex offers Certified Space Security Specialist Professional (CSSSP) training, a 5-day course that is ideal for space and security practitioners, analysts, engineers, managers and executives interested in proving their knowledge across space security practices and principles.

Our Space Operations and Cybersecurity courses also include:

Fundamentals of Positioning, Navigation and Timing | PNT Training (2 days)

Space Mission Systems Engineering Training (2 days)

Space Systems Engineering Fundamentals (2 days)

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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