Space cybersecurity is vital because space is a key consideration when it comes to national and international infrastructures.
As NATO aptly points out, since the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957, humanity has used space for the purposes of communication, monitoring the environment, collecting intelligence, conducting vital scientific experiments, and providing data for global positioning, navigation and time keeping.
In documents, NATO has also gone on the record as writing that effective space cybersecurity is more important than ever in this digital age as countries are increasingly dependent on global satellite capabilities for national and international infrastructures, which include systems governing the navigation of aircraft and ships, military maneuvers, financial transactions, the internet and telecommunications.
Cyber vulnerabilities strike at the heart of the key technologies in strategic doctrines and military planning. In the event of crisis escalation, such as in Ukraine, the Middle East or in South Asia, the assumption is that weapons systems will perform as planned. But space cybersecurity professionals insist this should not be taken for granted.
Space cybersecurity advocates would like to see more security standards such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework.
Another security measure that space cybersecurity experts believe deserves more attention is the utilization of appropriate security tools that are available. Most professionals in this field believe that space asset organizations should encrypt all satellite communications and space asset data where possible.
Modern encryption schemes provide a cost-effective and rather simple security measure to accomplish without much computational overhead.
Encrypting data is important to maintain the integrity of the communications so that the information can ultimately be useful for the public.
Space asset organizations should also invest in “threat intelligence” tools so that they can consistently maintain situational awareness regarding the latest cyber technical and organizational threats.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers several Space Cybersecurity courses. Our Space Operations and Cybersecurity courses include: