The public sector is expected to be at the forefront of many of these activities with private entities involved as both users as well as investors. The increasing integration of space systems to larger ground systems opens up a new vulnerability of the space system to cyber-attacks. Technologies and methods to enhance the cybersecurity level of space and ground systems have been identified as a new and increasingly important need for space transportation systems , for future telecom, EO and navigation missions, though generally of concern for practically all space missions. Cybersecurity requires a range of activities in different fields including cyber-threat monitoring, detection and reporting, incidence analysis, cyber defence management, behavioural, educational and organisational in addition to technical and engineering aspects.
With the proposed new Cybersecurity initiative, ESA intends to group all cybersecurity related technology and engineering activities. These would include in addition to technologies for the above-mentioned activities also technology developments in the areas of cryptography (including quantum cryptography) and optical communication technologies.
The increased reliance of other sectors on space assets and services for their own success and competitiveness puts pressure on the incumbent need to address cybersecurity threats originating in space, which endanger critical assets in space and their supporting infrastructure on Earth. While space engineering has a long tradition focussing on safety and reliability, given the harshness of the launch and space environment, cyber security introduces the dimension of intentional, man-made threats in addition to the traditional threat sources coming from the natural environment, technical failures and unintentional human error.
The importance of defending space assets and activities from cyber-attacks will increase as space becomes more strongly integrated in other sectors –both of public as well as of private relevance. For this reason, cybersecurity, which is already a concern, will continue to be an important field to address.
A collaborative, co-operative, collective and simultaneous engineering working environment
Other ESA cybersecurity practices