For cybersecurity experts, it’s clearcut: smallsat operators should take the same precautions as large satellite operators, including encrypting uplinks and downlinks, safeguarding ground stations and monitoring network activity.
“We’ve learned that everybody is a target,” said David Fidler, an Indiana University law professor whose report, “Cybersecurity and the New Era of Space Activities,” was published in April by the Council on Foreign Relations. “It would be a gigantic mistake for small companies to think they don’t need to worry about cybersecurity because they are not well known and are flying below the radar. If you are engaged in commercial space operations, you better believe you are on the radar of foreign intelligence agencies.”
Todd Harrison, director of the Center for Strategic and International Security’s Aerospace Security Project, agreed.
“Every link to and from a satellite should be encrypted,” Harrison said by email. “There is really no excuse for passing data in the open