Satellite operators have long felt just a little safer than most when it came to security. But today, satellite cybersecurity is standard operating procedure. No longer does an unobstructed beam bouncing off a satellite or remote locations guarantee security.
Every day more of the world’s critical infrastructure for communications, defense, financial, environmental monitoring, shipping and logistics — you name it — critical bits and bytes are traveling to space and back. With the number of security incidents in all industries rising 38 percent in 2015 according to the 2016 PWC Global State of Information Security Survey, security –including satellite cybersecurity, has never been more critical.
One additional challenge the satellite industry deals with is hardware timelines. Satellites put into orbit are designed to last for 15 years or more. Imagine trying to patch and secure a mission-critical desktop you can’t physically touch with a Pentium III processor running Windows 2000. Satellite is an industry of components and different manufacturers. Information sharing between device manufactures, satellite operators and providers is growing and will be critical to rapidly adapt to changing threats.
In a recent article in ViaSatellite, Harris CapRock VP of marketing and technology, Matthew Broida, talked about increased awareness in satellite cybersecurity within the energy industry.
“You are going to start to see large operators — the Shell’s and the Exxon’s of the world,” said Broida, “make cybersecurity part of their RFPs and even possibly annual or biannual cybersecurity audits.”
Uplogix brings some unique capabilities to the satellite industry for rapid deployment as well as ongoing remote management and automation. Plus, the same security capabilities built into our products from years in the financial and DoD worlds can be applied to satellite cybersecurity. From robust AAA architecture and the ability to rapidly change configurations to secure out-of-band links over a variety of communications types including Iridium satellites, Uplogix is part of any satellite cybersecurity architecture.
For a company like Harris CapRock (an Uplogix customer!), it’s good business.
“Our end customers also believe that cybersecurity can be a differentiator for them in the sense that a Shell or Exxon is more likely to pick a rig that has advanced cybersecurity than an asset with another company that might struggle to do so,” said Broida.
At Uplogix, we feel the same way.