Space Force rolls out cybersecurity standards for commercial providers of satellite services
Companies that pass a cybersecurity assessment will be approved in advance, so they will no longer require individual assessments for each contract.
WASHINGTON – The Space Systems Command announced on May 26 the official launch of a new process to assess the cybersecurity of commercial satellite operators doing business with the Department of Defense.
Infrastructure Asset Pre-Approval, or IA-Pre, allows commercial providers of satellite-based services to pass cyber security evaluations to be eligible for DoD contracts, rather than having to complete detailed questionnaires for each individual contract proposal.
“Our office will begin accepting IA-Pre applications for a limited number of assets to conduct evaluations,” said Jared Reece, a program analyst in Space Systems Command’s commercial services systems office.
He said IA-Pre replaces a self-assessment process in which commercial companies wishing to do business with the DoD had to submit the required system information using a questionnaire.
The new process “will ensure that effective guarantees are applied and validated; and mitigate weaknesses to reduce cybersecurity risks that could affect DoD missions, “Reece said. The space systems command will conduct on-site assessments to verify compliance with cybersecurity through certified and licensed third-party auditors. US Space Force Security Controls Advisor.
Clare Grason, division head of the commercial systems services office, said the IA-Pre program was developed in collaboration with commercial vendors. “We look forward to the positive impact that IA-Pre will have in the future for all of our stakeholders,” he said.
As companies undergo IA-Pre assessments, a U.S. Space Force licensing officer will review the results of the cybersecurity assessment. Providers that pass the checklist will be placed on a pre-approved list, so they will no longer require a cybersecurity assessment prior to the award of a contract.
AI-Pre was first announced in 2020. The Space Systems Command said pre-AI testing is expected to begin next month.
The Space Force adds cyber warfare units
Meanwhile, the Space Force is looking to add more squadrons of cyber specialists to support military units operating communications, surveillance and navigation satellites. Roy Rockwell, commander of Space Delta 6, said May 26th.
Space Delta 6 is the Space Force unit that oversees the Army’s satellite control network and cybersecurity operations.
Talking to one The Space Force Association’s online event, Rockwell, said the ground systems used to operate satellites are threatened by cyber attacks. “You don’t have to spend millions or billions of dollars to access the cyber domain and build those capabilities,” he said. Cyber attacks and malware can be achieved at a relatively low cost, he said, making such weapons much more accessible than missiles or lasers.
“As we look at how we will be attacked in future fights and how opponents will try to eliminate us in space domination, they will start with cyber attacks in the first place,” Rockwell said.