Will the battle for space happen on the ground?

In one of the episodes on Space Force (Netflix), the control team for a critical real-time mission is rendered helpless and unable to function due to…a Microsoft Windows update. Click here for the original video. While this was an exaggerated joke, we have all been there. The loss of access and information has the potential to critically blind space missions. The cyber attacks in Ukraine have demonstrated that space has been and will continue to be extremely relevant in the current era of continuous geopolitical conflict. Satellites are already an integral, albeit invisible, part of critical networks on Earth. These include communication as well as real-time timing and positioning grids. As these trends are likely to continue, aided by innovation in NTNs, we will see new threat actors targeting space systems to impact the critical services enabled by satellites. The key question today is: What can be done to ensure developments of new space technology and services are more secure? 

In April 2022, discussions at the World Economic Forum’s global council on Space and Cybersecurity strongly highlighted the need to identify critical space-enabled services and prioritize their end-to-end cyber resilience. However, Space infrastructure is growing more complex, with nation states no longer the only stakeholders who operate, use, and profit from space-dependent technologies. The supply chains for hardware and software are dependent on multiple component parts coming from various sources. This makes it difficult to identify responsibility and liability for the ultimate security and resilience of the services supplied. A long-term solution can be establishing clear frameworks that keep up pace with the evolution of technology. This will require collaboration between governments, satellite manufacturers, operators, software developers, and service users. Each has a role to play, including sharing lessons and experiences from each domain.

Original article: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/05/increased-cybersecurity-for-space-based-services/