Space Operations and Cybersecurity
Space security has become of paramount importance as space-based capabilities continue to provide integral support to military, commercial and civilian applications.
According to the Space Generation Advisory Council, the space sector is unique in the field of cybersecurity. It is an industry where civil, commercial and military applications seamlessly coexist, creating a haphazard situation for cybersecurity experts and telecommunication engineers.
Longstanding technological and cost barriers to space are falling, enabling more countries and commercial firms to participate in satellite construction, space launch, space exploration and human spaceflight.
Although these advancements are creating new opportunities, new space security risks for space-enabled services have emerged.
This is not surprising. Satellite technologies are an inherent part of our use of internet and email; telecommunications; weather forecasting; disaster management; GPS for navigation, traffic regulation and civil aviation; precision timing for financial transactions, and satellite remote sensing for geographical or topographical mapping.
The invisibility of the space technology required for these activities means that most of us are disconnected from the importance of space in today’s commercial, military and political arenas. Our high dependency on space, however, means that there is also a growing vulnerability.
Space systems are particularly vulnerable because many are old, created before cybersecurity became a top policy priority. They have vulnerabilities like hardcoded credentials — used by ships, planes and the military — making access by sophisticated cybercriminals fairly easy.
The attack surface is also becoming exponentially larger with the increase in commercial ventures as more spacecraft connect with ground-based assets and users. The absent implementation of cybersecurity best practices by all companies operating in space, poses a risk.
The cybercriminal knows that satellite operations are led by technologies that are housed on earth. Because of this, those earth-bound entry points offer cyber-attacks with an enormous number of potential inroads for hacking. The vast number of entry points also compounds the difficulty of tracing and shutting down a cyber-attack.
One the most significant weaknesses common to all satellite systems is the use of long-range telemetry for communication with ground stations. The uplinks and downlinks are often transmitted through open telecom network security protocols that are accessed by cybercriminals rather handily.
And of course, IoT devices (powered by 5G advances) that make use of satellite communications pose additional potential points of entry for bad actors.
Most cybersecurity professionals today advice organizations – both corporate and government – to focus on securing all points of entry in all matters involving space operations.
One of those modalities of securement involves implementing robust encryption for every piece of data that is transferred to or from any satellite.
This critical issue is not lost on the White House, which published a directive detailing a list of recommendations and best practices for protecting space systems from cyber threats and cyber-attacks.
The new rules, detailed in Space Policy Directive-5 (SPD-5), are meant to establish a cybersecurity baseline for all space-bound craft, systems, networks, and communications channels built and operated by US government agencies and commercial space entities.
There’s also a frenetic push to educate space cybersecurity specialists. IS4 (International Society of Space and Security Specialists) for example has stepped up to become the world’s only space cybersecurity certification authority. IS4 is now an international membership association for space and security professionals offering Certified Space Security Specialist Professional (CSSSP) and other space cybersecurity certifications.
In coordination with IS4, Tonex is offering Certified Space Security Specialist Professional (CSSSP) in order to train current and future personnel in how to more effectively manage space security issues.
Space Operations and Cybersecurity Courses by Tonex
Space Operations and Cybersecurity training programs focus on priorities to assist space systems and combat readiness. Our training programs, courses, seminars and certifications provide space technologies and operational capabilities, operational missions of spacelift, satellite communications, EO-IR sensor capabilities, AI and sensor fusion, missile warning and space control.
Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), EW, SIGINT, MASINT, Ground-based radar, Space-Based Infrared System, Defense Support Program satellites, Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, PAVE Phased Array Warning System and Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack radars, Optical Tracking Identification Facility, Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System, Passive Space Surveillance System, phased-array and mechanical radars provide primary space surveillance coverage.
Our Space Operations and Cybersecurity Courses — like all of our courses — are taught by top instructors with expertise in their areas as well as real world experience.
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