US Space Force Starting Tests for Cybersecurity Initiative IA-Pre
In the coming months, the US Space ForceThe Space Systems Command (SSC) will begin testing the cybersecurity rating of the commercial satellite communications offerings (COMSATCOM) under the Service Asset Pre-Approval Infrastructure Program (IA-Pre). say SSC last week.
“Our office will begin accepting IA-Pre applications for a limited number of assets to conduct evaluations,” Jared Reece, a program analyst in CSCO’s solutions branch, said in a statement on May 26. May. “Deploying AI-Pre means reaching another vital milestone in securing the COMSATCOM mission and countering cyberattacks by nearby adversaries that could adversely affect commercial satellites, on which the U.S. military depends more and more for communications “.
While CSCO plans to comment on cybersecurity over the summer to this small number of companies about their commercial satcom products, CSCO will begin serious cybersecurity assessments this September. In September 2025, CSCO wants to make the complete transition to IA-Pre.
The IA-Pre cybersecurity initiative “replaces a self-assessment process in which commercial companies that wanted to do business with the DoD had previously submitted the necessary system information using a questionnaire,” SSC said. “The CSCO will then use this questionnaire for evaluation during the procurement process. IA-Pre will replace the CSCO Information Assurance Questionnaire (CIAQ) with newer requirements. It will ensure that they are applied and validate effective safeguards, and mitigate weaknesses to reduce cybersecurity risks that could affect DoD missions using CSCOs for services. “
IA-Pre can speed up the acquisition process.
“If you are a pre – approved [Space Force] You don’t need any additional evaluation when you make new submissions, “said Michael Wier, a technical cybersecurity marketing engineer at Ingram Micro, based in California.” Your security score increases with each submission. we. That means you have a much easier way to accept your submissions than a provider that doesn’t have that score. “
“A pre-authorized provider has a much easier path to a contract,” he said. “This will be really key, if you want to stay in this COMSATCOM business, and you’re a supplier, do it so you have a fast track. Those who still have to do project-by-project authorizations will probably be pretty slow.”
The Pentagon chief intelligence officer and the National Security Agency (NSA) were due to launch IA-Pre in January this year.
IA-Pre must use third-party auditors certified by the Space Force Security Controller Assessor for the end-to-end assessment and scoring of cybersecurity of satellites and architectures.
“As the industry progresses through the IA-Pre program, the U.S. Space Force (AO) Authorization Officer will review the results of the cybersecurity assessment for approval,” SSC said. on May 26th. “CSCO will then place the industry partner and assessed assets on a list of approved platforms. The industry partner will no longer require a cybersecurity assessment prior to the award of a contract for covered assets.” .
CSCO said it expects the first AO approvals next January and that “contract proposals will continue to be accepted through the CIAQ until this approach is completed in September 2023.”
“At that time, an IA-Pre rapid transition program will be put in place for industry partners who have not yet obtained IA-Pre approval,” according to CSCO. “Industry partners are encouraged to start contacting CSCO for more information and to coordinate the next steps to move to IA-Pre.”
A version of this story was first published by the sister channel Via Satellite Defense Daily.