SIA-India and ISAC Spearhead Revolution in Space Cybersecurity Standards

SIA-India (Satcom Industry Association) and ISAC (Information Sharing and Analysis Centre) join forces to build common platform cybersecurity standards within the space sector. Following the monumental signing of MoU in February 2024, both organizations are embarking on a collaborative journey aimed at establishing comprehensive space cyber standards. These standards will serve as a cornerstone in enhancing security across the space and defence domains.

“This partnership signifies a milestone in India’s space cybersecurity landscape, underlining our dedication to fortifying critical space infrastructure through innovative cybersecurity standards. Given India’s heavy reliance on interconnected digital networks in space, the looming threat of cyberattacks poses significant risks, potentially disrupting satellite operations, communication channels, productivity, and supply chains. Through the establishment of robust cybersecurity benchmarks and regular security drills, we aim to bolster incident response capabilities, enhancing defense mechanisms against cyber threats targeting our extraterrestrial networks.”- Lt. Gen. PJS Pannu, Sr. Advisor and Chair Defence Space Committee, SIA-India

In addition to setting new standards, SIA-India and ISAC are gearing up to introduce specialized training and certification programs. These initiatives will equip space professionals with the essential skills needed to safeguard vital space infrastructure. Moreover, the partnership aims to inaugurate a cutting-edge space cybersecurity lab, fostering groundbreaking research and collaboration.

” While India has made significant strides in space exploration, cybersecurity remains a critical concern. Our focus is not only on setting standards but also on empowering space professionals with the necessary skills to mitigate emerging cyber threats. The training program is designed to preempt cyber attacks and elevate incident response capabilities, deterring potential threats. Through improved security measures and a proactive stance against cyber threats, this partnership reinforces India’s national security stance with a clear message of deterrence to potential adversaries.” – Rajshekhar Pullabhatla, Director, ISAC

India’s space sector is undergoing rapid transformation, with both ISRO and the private sector playing pivotal roles. The Indian space economy is currently valued at $8.4 billion and is projected to reach $44 billion by 2033. The emergence of over 200 startups, coupled with ISRO’s ambitious plans, has elevated India’s space efforts to new heights. Securing space assets is now imperative, not only to safeguard billions in GDP but also from a national security perspective. Globally, attacks on space infrastructure have surged. In February 2022, the UK alone faced eighty-three data breaches, putting over five million records at risk. The NotPetya cyber-attack inflicted substantial damage, with Ukraine bearing 80% of infections and global financial losses estimated at $6 trillion in 2021. With increasing military reliance on accurate navigation systems, cybersecurity discussions between the US and Russia remain ongoing.

“Experts warn of the high risk posed by global cyberattacks on satellite infrastructure, which could lead to dire consequences. underscoring the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures. SIA-India and ISAC’s timely collaboration aims to create a cohesive framework for safeguarding space infrastructure. Standardization ensures a unified approach to security measures, while specialized training equips professionals with the skills needed to proactively identify and mitigate cyber threats.” – Anil Prakash, Director General SIA-India

The collaboration between SIA-India and ISAC represents a significant milestone in enhancing space cybersecurity standards. By leveraging expertise and fostering innovation, both organizations are committed to ensuring the integrity and security of space infrastructure. As India continues its journey as a global space leader, cybersecurity remains a pivotal focus area for sustainable space exploration.

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