Cyber-threat security is needed for US space systems, according to an industry panel

Satellites in space support the civilian economy and national security by providing critical services. However, the US government does not consider space systems to be “critical infrastructure,” which experts say is hampering attempts to defend networks from cyber threats.

Dawn Beyer, who works as the senior fellow at the Lockheed Martin company, remarked, “We’re still discussing whether space is important infrastructure.” “Of all the areas, space is the farthest behind when it pertains to cybersecurity,” says the report.

On a virtual panel discussion held by the Aerospace Corporation and the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC), which is an industry group centered on the cybersecurity of space systems, Beyer said the US government spent years discussing what the cyber area should be called and who should be in charge, while “Russia was already utilizing it against us in information warfare.”

According to Beyer, a comparable process is unfolding in the space realm. “It appears that we spend a lot of time figuring out things which should be straightforward, but we should be spending a lot of time figuring out how to protect that space since the risk varies all the time.”

Chemical industries, healthcare defense, and financial services are among the 16 key infrastructure sectors recognized by the Department of Homeland Security. These are sectors, according to the Department of Homeland Security, “whose systems, assets, and networks, whether virtual or physical, are regarded so critical to the U.S. that their destruction or incapacitation would have a devastating effect on security, national public health, national economic security, or safety.”

If any of these vital sectors are attacked, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency collaborates with federal agencies as well as the private industry to offer incident response services and cybersecurity tools. Space systems, according to Samuel Visner, who works as a technical fellow at the MITRE and also a member of the ISAC board of directors, should be categorized as vital infrastructure. Launch systems, manufacturing plants, on-orbit satellites, and ground-centered communication systems are all examples.

Because the space sector’s innovations and skills are unique and not copied in other areas of the economy, they should be more protected, according to Visner. “Space propellant is a one-of-a-kind substance. Numerous of the subsystems and systems created for space launch as well as space mission technologies are not generally covered elsewhere,” he stated.

According to him, there are new space activities that are going to continue to be incorporated into the space economy, like space exploration, space travel, and eventually space manufacturing. Including space to a list of key infrastructure sectors, according to Charity Weeden, who works as the vice president in charge of the global space policy as well as government relations at the Astroscale U.S. company, would send a strong statement.

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