Space cybersecurity – current state and future needs

18 April 2022 | Research

Dallas Kasaboski

Perspective | PDF (13 pages)


As the global economy is more dependent on space resources, devices and interlinked networks, the need to proactively address the exposure to new cyber threats increases. Innovation-fueled growth in space and shifts in value chains interworking with terrestrial, wireless and cloud ecosystems goes in parallel with hackers’ increased capabilities of finding vulnerabilities in the infrastructure.

What needs to happen is a complete paradigm shift around how to address cyber-security threats in space systems. The traditional cyber-security techniques focused on perimeter defense, access control and accountability are no longer sufficient to prevent cyber breaches, including insider threats. The space cyber-security model must shift to a Zero Trust architecture, which will continuously question the security, vulnerability and reliability.

This perspective explores the unique needs of the space sector and satellite networks, the challenges brought by new disruptions and the solutions available around the key concept of Zero Trust cyber security.

This report includes discussion of the following topics

  • Security problems in space
    • The augmented challenges of new space and proliferated low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites
  • The Zero Trust solution framework
    • The 'ownership = control (and security)' paradigm
    • The air travel analogy
    • The availability-integrity-confidentiality triads
    • Industry solutions: unlocking value without (end-to-end) wwnership
  • Business considerations and bottom line

Space cybersecurity: current state and future needs