Satellites are just as cyber-vulnerable as any other technology – especially now in the new digital satellite era.
While NASA is most commonly associated with space operations, eight U.S. federal organizations have space budgets, including the Defense and Energy departments, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey and others.
These agencies use satellites in a variety of ways such as telecommunications in globally dispersed workforces, up-to-the-minute information on natural disasters or armed conflicts, research on population growth and density, awareness of weather patterns and more. Satellites provide a global, wide-lens perspective that can be invaluable to the government.
Then there’s the emergence of LEO satellites, which provide agencies with additional advantages because they move at a quicker rate and have lower latency due to their location in orbit, which helps agencies communicate more quickly to citizens and warfighters.
Regardless of the mission, all contemporary satellites have one salient commonality: They have a complex structure and the various systems and programs required for operation—navigation, communications channels, onboard sensors, power generators—create a vast attack surface.
And because these systems and components must work in harmony, it’s often nearly impossible to isolate or combat a threat without compromising the entire ecosystem. The world has already seen several instances of satellite interference by governments executing cyberattacks and blocking communications.
Protecting satellites in the cyber domain has never been more challenging. Clearly, with the emerging cyber threats to spacecraft from nation-state actors, additional spacecraft defenses must be implemented.
Effective cybersecurity in space is essential. From commercial markets to militaries, the western world has never been more dependent on space systems.
Want to know more? Tonex offers several courses in Space Operations and Cybersecurity that 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 space lift, satellite communications, EO-IR sensor capabilities, AI and sensor fusion, missile warning and space control.
Tonex Space Operations and Cybersecurity courses:
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.