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Space Electrical Engineering Training by Tonex

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.

Space cybersecurity is essential because like any other increasingly digitized critical infrastructure, satellites and other space-based assets are vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

These cyber vulnerabilities pose serious risks not just for space-based assets themselves but also for ground-based critical infrastructure.

If not contained through effective space cybersecurity, these threats could interfere with global economic development and, by extension, international security. What’s more, these concerns are no longer merely hypothetical. Within the past decade, more countries and private actors have acquired and employed counter-space capabilities in novel applications, which now pose a greater existential threat to critical space assets.

Vulnerabilities to space systems and infrastructure vary across a range of potential attack surfaces.

According to various reports, there are several segments of space infrastructure that need to be hardened against cyber-attack:

  • Spacecraft could be vulnerable to command intrusions such as giving bad instructions to destroy or manipulate basic controls
  • Malware could be used to infect systems on the ground like satellite control centers
  • Links between the two and spacecraft could be spoofed such as disguising communication from an untrusted source as a trusted one

The Pentagon has requested the U.S. military to prioritize space cybersecurity. The big fear is that cybercriminals have the skillset to deny satellite communications or throw a satellite out of its orbit, even manipulate it to make it look like an accident or a collision with something else given the increasingly crowded nature of space.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers several Space Cybersecurity courses. Our Space Operations and Cybersecurity courses include:

Cybersecurity Principles for Satellite and Space Systems (2 days)

Certified Space Security Specialist Professional (CSSSP) (5 days)

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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