Cyber Security – Critical Even in Space

Cyber Security – Critical Even in Space

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According to US space force officials, cyber security is critical to the space domain if the US wants to defend itself against Russia’s and China’s cyber capabilities.

Col. John Smail, who advises the Chief of Space Operations on the US Space Force’s cyber, spectrum and warfighting communications policy, strategy, and operations, said cyber operations are “critical” to the US Space Force and to secure US space power.

“Space is unique in the domain that it is really dependent on cyber. Other warfighting domains are not in cyberspace all the time,” Smail said. “You have no space power without cyber power.”

As part of the efforts to secure cyberspace for the Space Force, Smail spoke about the U.S. Space Force initiative called cyber-enabled space operations, in which cyber squadrons are embedded in space deltas. Deltas in the Space Force are comparable to wings in the Air Force. According to the Space Force, these cyber squadrons will work side-by-side with space operators and intelligence experts, providing cyber capability to operational missions.

“If we get into a conflict, and nation-states are breaking out some advanced capabilities, we’re not going to be able to just sit there and talk about — ‘We’ll get to that in the next big Block release’ — that is not going to work,” he continued. “We need to exercise these processes now. It means agile development, agile processing. It means changing the culture and bringing acquisitions and operations closer and closer together.”

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