Watch Live: US Space Force, security and higher education leaders headline Space & Cybersecurity Symposium 2020

From travel directions to finding out whether it might rain, much of the world depends on orbiting satellites for daily information. Space-based technology has become essential, and this has led to a greater focus on the key actions needed to safeguard it.

In early September, the U.S. government issued directives for the first comprehensive cybersecurity policy for systems in space.

“The security of the homeland depends on the security of our space systems, interests and freedom of our action in space,” said Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf in a statement about the new directives. “The policy unveiled today is a critical step in establishing a baseline standard for cybersecurity as America leads in space and cyberspace alike.”

Recent space cybersecurity incidents have raised serious red flags, including security researcher James Pavur gaining access to sensitive corporate data by hacking into satellite transmissions. 

“When we were looking at these networks, we often found ourselves behind the corporate firewall,” said Pavur during an interview after presenting his findings as part of Black Hat Cybersecurity 2020. “So, we found a lot of corporations were treating the satellite environment like it was the inside of their offices, when in reality it was being broadcast over entire continents.”

On Oct. 5–8, theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, will be broadcasting interviews with government leaders and industry experts as part of the Space & Cybersecurity Symposium 2020 event. Discussion topics include thought leadership in space cybersecurity and space-based infrastructure; how talent is acquired and retained in the space-based infrastructure sector; the role of academia and the private sector in supporting talent development; and the unique role of California state in the space-based infrastructure sector.

Protecting data in space

The number of satellites orbiting Earth continues to grow as private firms expand beyond Earth’s boundaries. In November, aerospace company SpaceX Corp. launched 60 Starlink satellites to deploy global broadband internet access, and the company plans to launch 1,000 more satellites by the end of 2021.

To protect data generated by satellites and other vehicles in space, the U.S. government’s latest initiative includes comprehensive encryption guidelines and calls on companies to use trusted supply chains and monitor the security of ground systems.

“Implementation of these principles, through rules, regulations and guidance, should enhance space system cybersecurity, including through the consideration and adoption, where appropriate, of cybersecurity best practices and norms of behavior,” according to the policy.

The initiative was specifically prompted by concern that countries such as Russia, North Korean and Iran could hack space-based infrastructure. In fact, all three of these countries have been accused of jamming GPS signals in various countries during populist movements. In 2014, Chinese hackers breached the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite communications network used for weather forecasting. And in September, the Department of Defense issued a report detailing concerns that China was developing a cyber weapons program targeting low- and high-orbit satellites.

“The People’s Liberation Army continues to invest in improving its capabilities in space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), satellite communication, satellite navigation, and meteorology, as well as human spaceflight and robotic space exploration,” the Pentagon report stated. “China plans to have a permanently operating space station by 2022 that will host its own and foreign payloads and astronauts.”

Livestream of Space & Cybersecurity Symposium 2020 event

Space & Cybersecurity Symposium 2020 is a livestream event with additional interviews to be broadcast on theCUBE. You can register for free here to access the live coverage. You can also watch it on demand on theCUBE’s dedicated page and YouTube channel. (* Disclosure below.)

How to watch theCUBE interviews

We offer you various ways to watch the live coverage of the Space & Cybersecurity Symposium 2020 digital event, including theCUBE’s dedicated website and YouTube channel. You can also get all the coverage from this year’s events on SiliconANGLE.

TheCUBE Insights podcast

SiliconANGLE also has podcasts available of archived interview sessions, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify, which you can enjoy while on the go.

Guests who will be interviewed on theCUBE during the Space & Cybersecurity Symposium 2020 digital event

Guests who will be interviewed on theCUBE during the Space & Cybersecurity Symposium 2020 digital event include Lt. Gen John F. Thompson, commander for Space and Missile Systems Center at the Los Angeles Air Force Base; Chris Henson, technical director of Space & Weapons Cybersecurity Solutions at the National Security Agency; and Jeffrey Armstrong, Cal Poly University president.

TheCUBE will also speak with Bong Gumahad, director of the C4/ISR Division OUSD (A&S) for the DOD; Steven D. Jacques, executive director and founder of the National Security Space Association; and Stewart Knox, undersecretary of the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency.

For a complete list of guests joining theCUBE, click here.

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a media partner for the Space & Cybersecurity Symposium 2020 digital event. Neither Cal Poly University, the host of the Space & Cybersecurity Symposium, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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