Space Force Consolidates Military Satellite Communications

The United States Space Force recently took over satellite communications operations for the Department of Defense, adding to their operations of the Navy and Army resources. This consolidation is an effort to consolidate training, operations, acquisition and other activities. This is the first time in history all military satellite communications have been under a single military service. Previously in other branches, operators may only spend a few years on satellite communications before moving to a new position, however with the consolidation, experienced operators may spend their entire careers working on space missions. The consolidation also helps support the growing demand for military connectivity in the field.

By operating the vast military satellite communications systems under one branch and one group and chain of command, natural overlap of processes and procedures are likely to become apparent and recognized and optimizations through sharing of processes and procedures may make it easier to operate all of the systems. However standardization is also useful to threat actors during cyber attacks, as they gain and learn information about a single system, all of that knowledge can be leveraged across all of the systems which could amplify and expedite attacks that are carried out as well as increase their impact. Consolidation also means a single target for attacks with possible lateral movement through systems depending on the segmentation present between each different satellite system. Overall this paints a bigger target, makes it more lucrative, and increases the attack surface to defend by a single group.

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