Space ISAC Stands Up Operational Watch Center to Keep Pace with Proliferating Threats to Space Systems
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, March 30, 2023 — Space ISAC, its founding board of directors and executive director launched Space ISAC’s Operational Watch Center and its initial operational capability today. This is a crucial milestone for Space ISAC, whose executive, operational, and administrative functions are operated by the National Cybersecurity Center (NCC), and the global space industry, as they address the growing threats and vulnerabilities faced by this sector, which now serves billions of people worldwide.
Space ISAC’s Operational Watch Center is supported by a dedicated team of 10 in-person analysts with additional virtual support enabled by a secure cloud architecture. “Protecting space systems as critical infrastructure is incredibly rewarding,” said Hector Falcon, Cyber and Space Intelligence Integrator at Space ISAC. “Given that all 16 critical infrastructure sectors use these assets, we are defending not just an array of touchpoints but our livelihood. The analysts monitor data feeds and visualizations, detecting anomalies and correlating this information with other sources to produce comprehensive reports for our members.”
As Lt. Gen. Whiting shared in his remarks yesterday, “The vision of Space ISAC is precisely what is needed if we’re going to stay ahead of pacing threats as well as strengthen the cyber resilience of systems in space and supporting the infrastructures on the ground. Through the information sharing of Space ISAC, the space enterprise will be able to be smarter, faster and more safe.” As the space economy is projected to reach a staggering $1 trillion by 2040, making it more commercial and accessible than ever before, the Watch Center is designed to address the increased susceptibility to attacks on our space-based assets. By monitoring both space and terrestrial activities, we can defend collectively against adversaries and reduce response times from months to minutes – an unprecedented achievement.
“To counter the global rise in threats to space critical infrastructure, the Space ISAC Watch Center will prove to be a vital capability in mitigating current and future risk,” said Jay Santee, Vice President, Defense Systems Group, The Aerospace Corporation. “Aerospace appreciates the ability to incorporate our Space Attack Research & Tactic Analysis (SPARTA) into the Watch Center to help address the information and communication barriers that hinder the identification and sharing of space-cyber Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP).”
The Watch Center is further strengthened by our partnerships with over 30 government agencies worldwide. This collaboration allows us to share threat and vulnerability information, inform policy and promote joint efforts to secure the global space sector.
By sharing information on disruptions to space systems through the Watch Center, we are creating a unified front against potential threats. As a result, companies, their assets, and the broader space sector will benefit from enhanced security and resilience, ensuring the ongoing success and sustainability of this vital global infrastructure.
“As one of the largest cloud architecture providers in the world, Microsoft has gained an exceptional vantage point and garnered unique experience on what it takes to secure cloud workloads and containers,” says Lora Randolph, Principal Program Manager. “Microsoft has a unique optic into emerging threats based on analysis of over 65 trillion threat signals daily across 200+ global consumer and commercial services. Microsoft can identify new threats and respond quickly with services that are informed by real-time global cybersecurity intelligence delivered at cloud scale.”
Dr. Wen Masters, Vice President, Cyber Technologies at the MITRE corporation says their “work in cybersecurity is guided by the objective to make tools and technologies available for the public good while reducing malicious exploitations. As we work to help protect our networks and critical infrastructure across all domains, we’re thrilled to support the Space ISAC in their mission of bringing cyber resilience to the space community. With the Space ISAC, our collective efforts in threat-informed and risk-informed defense, dynamic resiliency at scale, and supply chain integrity will empower decision makers in the space domain community to assess and address the risks of cyber threats.”
Space ISAC’s Watch Center represents a monumental step forward for the space community. As we continue to expand our partnerships and memberships, we remain committed to identifying and addressing the ever-evolving threats and vulnerabilities that impact our space systems. Together, we can ensure the protection and continued success of this invaluable resource for the benefit of all.
The Watch Center Fellowship Program aims to build a diverse talent pipeline, providing experiential training and opportunities for students, early career professionals, and transitioning military or government personnel. The 12-month pathway, which can be completed in-person or virtually, offers participants the chance to grow their knowledge, skills, and abilities in cybersecurity, threat intelligence, and both civil and commercial space sectors. This unique talent pipeline contributes to our mission by fostering the next generation of experts who will continue to protect our space systems.
“We appreciate the collaborative environment of Space ISAC,” said Wren Sigrest, Battelle’s Cyber Business Line Director. “It fosters the sharing of critical information, best practices, and resources to help protect our space infrastructure from cyber threats to its software and hardware through a global supply chain. The Space ISAC is vital to bring state-of-the-art microelectronics verification techniques and risk management to existing and emerging commercial and government space operators in support of our national security.”
Space ISAC currently has 64 members, including those on the founding board, platinum, gold, silver, university, and small business members. These members, located across the globe, represent a diverse array of market sectors, including AI solutions, machine learning, cloud and data processing, satellite communications, remote sensing, cybersecurity, and more. Erin Miller, Executive Director, Space ISAC says, “Universities are an important part of our membership base. It is not possible to raise our global security posture without the multi-disciplinary students from our universities jumping in early in their academic career to learn about the emerging field of cybersecurity for space”
ISACs are sector-specific, member-driven organizations established by the private sector with support from the federal government to collect, analyze, and disseminate cyber and physical security threats as well as to identify risk mitigation information for critical infrastructure owners, operators, and members to increase resiliency. The Space ISAC is the only space-dedicated ISAC. Its founding board and membership include leaders across the space industry, cybersecurity industry and academia.
Space ISAC founding members includes Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS), Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH), Deloitte, MITRE, SES, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), Parsons Corporation (NYSE: PSN), Purdue University, the Space Dynamics Laboratory, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, The Aerospace Corporation, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Microsoft, and L3Harris.
In 2017, the Science & Technology Partnership Forum conceived Space ISAC in response to recognized information-sharing gaps within the cybersecurity and space community. The goal of the Space ISAC was initially to enhance the community’s ability to prepare for and respond to vulnerabilities, incidents, and threats; disseminate timely information, and serve as the primary communications channel for the sector. The Forum shared this vision at the 34th Space Symposium in April 2018. In September 2018, the White House published the White House’s National Cyber Strategy. This strategy stated that “the Administration will enhance efforts to protect our space assets and support infrastructure from evolving cyber threats,” while working “with industry and international partners to strengthen the cyber resilience of existing and future space systems.”
The establishment of the Space ISAC was announced in April 2019 during a session at the 35th Space Symposium and is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, co-located with the National Cybersecurity Center (NCC). NCC serves as the executive, operational, and administrative function of the Space ISAC.
Space ISAC joined as an official member of the National Council of ISACs in 2020.
For more information about the Space ISAC, please visit www.s-isac.org.
About The Aerospace Corporation
The Aerospace Corporation is a national nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has approximately 4,000 employees. With major locations in El Segundo, CA; Albuquerque, NM; Colorado Springs, CO; and the Washington, DC region, Aerospace addresses complex problems across the space enterprise and other areas of national significance through agility, innovation, and objective technical leadership. For more information, visit www.aerospace.org. Follow us on Twitter: @AerospaceCorp.
About Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.
Kratos develops and fields transformative, affordable technology, platforms, and systems for United States National Security related customers, allies, and commercial enterprises. Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technology for these industries are rapidly brought to market through proven commercial and venture capital backed approaches, including proactive research, and streamlined development processes. At Kratos, affordability is a technology, and we specialize in unmanned systems, satellite communications, cyber security/warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense, hypersonic systems, training and combat systems, and next-generation turbojet and turbo-fan engine development. For more information go to www.KratosDefense.com.
About Booz Allen Hamilton
For more than 100 years, military, government, and business leaders have turned to Booz Allen Hamilton to solve their most complex problems. As a consulting firm with experts in analytics, digital solutions, engineering, and cyber, we help organizations transform. We are a key partner on some of the most innovative programs for governments worldwide and trusted by their most sensitive agencies. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with clients, using a mission-first approach to choose the right strategy and technology to help them realize their vision.
With global headquarters in McLean, Virginia, our firm employs approximately 31,100 people globally as of December 31, 2022, and had revenue of $8.4 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2022. To learn more, visit www.boozallen.com. (NYSE: BAH)
MITRE’s mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world. Through public-private partnerships and the federally funded R&D centers we manage, we work across government to tackle challenges to the safety, security, and well-being of our nation. For more information about MITRE, please visit www.MITRE.org.
SES has a bold vision to deliver amazing experiences everywhere on earth by distributing the highest quality video content and providing seamless connectivity around the world. As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system. By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high-quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air, and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators and content owners. SES’s video network carries over 8,300 channels and has an unparalleled reach of 367 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content. The company is listed on Paris and Luxembourg stock exchanges (Ticker: SESG). Further information is available at: www.ses.com.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 114,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. For more information, visit www.lockheedmartin.com/cyber.
Parsons (NYSE: PSN) is a leading disruptive technology provider for the future of global defense, intelligence, and critical infrastructure, with capabilities across cybersecurity, missile defense, Space, connected infrastructure, and smart cities. Please visit parsons.com, and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to learn how we’re making an impact.
About Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in Space, aeronautics, defense, and cyberspace to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services. For more information, visit www.northropgrumman.com.
About Purdue University
Purdue University, a top public research institution, offers higher education at its highest proven value. Committed to affordability, the university has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, all while offering degrees from top-10-ranked Colleges of Engineering, Agriculture, and Pharmacy. Purdue is ranked 17th for public universities by U.S. News and World Report and established the nation’s first Department of Computer Science in 1962. Its cybersecurity program is similarly groundbreaking and is currently ranked the No. 2 cyber school. With 24 alumni who became NASA astronauts, including the first and most recent person on the moon, Purdue is called the “Cradle of Astronauts.” Committed to pursuing scientific discoveries and engineered solutions, Purdue has streamlined pathways for faculty and student innovators who have a vision for engaging with the private sector and moving the world forward. Further information is available at: www.purdue.edu.
About the Space Dynamics Laboratory
Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) has been solving the technical challenges faced by the military, science community, and industry for six decades and supports NASA’s vision to reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind. As one of 14 University Affiliated Research Centers, SDL serves as a subject matter expert in its core research areas to the U.S. Government, ensuring that essential engineering and technology capabilities are maintained. SDL is a research laboratory headquartered in North Logan, UT, and has offices in Albuquerque, NM; Bedford, MA; Dayton, OH; Huntsville, AL; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Stafford, VA; and Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.sdl.usu.edu.
About Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit www.jhuapl.edu.
About University of Colorado Colorado Springs
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) offers fifty-two bachelor’s, 24 master’s and eight doctoral degree programs. UCCS enrolls more than 12,000 students on campus. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu.
About Microsoft Azure Space
Microsoft’s intelligent cloud which is one of the fastest and most resilient networks in the world, coupled with its intelligent edge advanced analytics and AI capabilities makes it well-positioned to support the space community’s needs in gathering, transporting, and processing of geospatial data. Microsoft Azure Space is driving cloud-powered innovation on and off the planet with offerings and partnerships that extend satellite connectivity anywhere in the world. Azure Orbital, Microsoft’s ground station service enables satellite operators to communicate to and control their satellites, process data, and scale operations directly with the Azure cloud. As the space community’s growth accelerates, Microsoft is working to innovate and lower the barriers of access for public- and private-sector organizations to make space connectivity and compute increasingly attainable across industries including agriculture, energy, telecommunications, and government. For more information, visit Azure Space | Microsoft Azure.
L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately $18 billion in annual revenue and 47,000 employees, with customers in more than one hundred countries. L3Harris.com.
About the National Cybersecurity Center
The National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) is recognized as a leader in cybersecurity and serves as the executive, operational, and administrative function of the Space ISAC. Locating the Space ISAC at the NCC allows Space ISAC members to have access to Colorado’s space and cybersecurity ecosystems within the commercial and defense sectors and the talents of the premier higher education institutions developing cybersecurity engineers. Together, NCC and the Space ISAC serve cyber influencers from the commercial sector, academia, government, and military and empower people to secure commercial, international, and military space communications from attacks on our global space assets. They are jointly building a research and development capability, cybersecurity training curriculum, and an analysis portal. Visit www.cyber-center.org for more information.