The US Space Force has issued cybersecurity guidelines for commercial satellite service providers

On May 26, the Space Systems Command unveiled a new process for evaluating the cybersecurity of various commercial satellite providers that conduct business with the Pentagon. Commercial vendors of satellite-based services are examined based on their cybersecurity procedures and systems under IA-Pre (Infrastructure Asset Pre-Approval) program. Suppliers who pass the government’s test are added to a pre-approved list and won’t have to fill out long cybersecurity questionnaires for every contract proposal.

“Our office will start accepting IA-Pre requests for a restricted number of assets to complete assessments,” said Jared Reece, the Commercial Services Systems Office of the Space Systems Command’s program analyst.

He explained that IA-Pre replaced a self-assessment process in which commercial enterprises seeking to do business with the Department of Defense had to fill out a questionnaire. “Effective safeguards will be deployed and evaluated, and holes will be remedied to decrease cybersecurity threats that could disrupt DoD missions,” according to Reece. The Space Systems Command (SSC) will use third-party auditors accredited and licensed by the United States Space Force Security Controls Assessor to conduct on-site audits to verify cybersecurity compliance.

The IA-Pre program, according to Clare Grason, who is the division chief in charge of the office that deals with, was developed in collaboration with commercial vendors. “We’re excited to see how IA-Pre can benefit all of our stakeholders in the future,” she said. In 2020, AI-Pre was first revealed. Pre-trials for IA- are expected to begin next month, according to the Space Systems Command.

The Space Force is expanding its cyber warfare capabilities.

Meanwhile, according to Col. Roy Rockwell, who is the commander of the Space Delta 6, Space Force is planning to deploy more cyber specialist squadrons to help military units which operate communications, surveillance, as well as navigation satellites. The Space Force’s Space Delta 6 unit is in charge of the military’s satellite control network as well as cybersecurity operations.

Cyber attacks constitute a threat to the ground systems needed to operate satellites, according to Rockwell, who spoke at a Space Force Association virtual event. He stated, “You don’t have to pay millions or even billions of dollars to obtain access to the cyber realm and build such capabilities.” He pointed out that cyber and virus attacks may be carried out for a relatively minimal cost, making these weapons far more available than missiles or lasers.

“As we consider how we’ll be assaulted in future battles and how enemies will want to remove us in the space realm, we’ll see that they’ll start with cyber strikes first and foremost,” Rockwell said.

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