The White House plans to boost cybersecurity resilience for the U.S. space industry, following a forum on Tuesday with stakeholders from government and the private sector.
Acting National Cyber Director Kemba Walden and National Space Council Executive Secretary Chirag Parikh hosted a briefing and roundtable discussion that included senior executives from the space industry and top government officials. The officials committed to three major steps to boost cybersecurity in space, including:
- The Office of the National Cyber Director will convene regional workshops in hubs for space innovation in order to gain industry perspectives on space systems cybersecurity. The workshops will also address gaps in guidance and additional steps the White House should consider.
- The Department of Commerce will hold a symposium on space cybersecurity issues in Washington, D.C. The conference will include key figures from government and the private sector.
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology will complete a report addressing cybersecurity in commercial satellite operations during the fiscal year. The report will help find a way to apply the NIST Cybersecurity Framework to activities in commercial space.
The White House forum comes amid heightened concerns about the risk of malicious cyber activity against various space systems, including commercial satellites.
The Satellite Industry Association “is committed to cybersecurity best practices that help ensure the industry continues to deliver safe and reliable satellite services to its customers in America and around the world,” Tom Stroup, president of the SIA, said via email. “SIA and its members look forward to continuing to work with public and commercial stakeholders as they address the ongoing challenges of cybersecurity.”
U.S. officials linked Russia to a series of malicious attacks against commercial satellites prior to the Ukraine invasion that led to a massive disruption of internet service and wind turbines across Europe.
“Space-based communications and navigation systems underpin all our modern society and the current race to deploy even more satellite constellations will only make them more critical,” Katell Thielemann, VP analyst at Gartner, said via email.