(Part 2) Critical Infrastructure: Sectors Rely on Strong Space Security
By Diane M. Janosek
(Read Part 1 here)
Threats in Space
Foreign competitors and adversaries can conduct electronic attacks to disrupt, deny, deceive or degrade space services by attacking the segments in space, on the ground, or through the user or the links themselves.
One of the methods they use prevents users from receiving intended signals. Jamming can be accomplished by two primary methods, uplink jamming – directed toward the satellite – or downlink jamming, directed at the users on the ground.
Spoofing, making data or signals appear to be legitimate when they’re not, is another method used to attack. This could tragically hurt an operation when knowing the location of something or someone is the key to a successful mission.
The Center for Advanced Defense, a non-profit defense-related think tank on global security and conflict issues, reported last year that Russia conducted nearly 10,000 GPS spoofing incidents in the previous year. The report, entitled “Above us Only Stars: Exposing GPS Spoofing in Russia and Syria,” indicated that those incidents put ships off course and kept drones out of sensitive air space. What’s notable about the Russian spoofing is the widespread use of it. As the report concluded, “whether for profit, protection, or disruptions, illicit actors, writ large, stand to gain from the proliferation of these capabilities.”
With the increased use of these capabilities, now is the time to secure American space assets. Space security is paramount as a countermeasure to weapons in space. We must protect the communication between satellites and their ground stations, and safeguard the satellites and the ground stations themselves. This is a whole new subset of security that is ripe for new ideas.
Partnerships with Academia: The Way Forward
As the Commandant of the National Cryptologic School (NCS) at the National Security Agency, I lead four colleges, the Colleges of Language, Leadership and Business, Cyber, and Cryptology. I am passionately committed to enhance education – especially cyber education. In fact, advancing cyber education is part of the U.S. National Cyber Strategy. And cyber education should begin with our youngest Americans, as we need to build a pipeline of cyber experts to secure networks – the networks that are used in just about every industry in our nation.
Capitol Technology University as a Leader in Cyber Education Excellence
NSA manages the National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) program in cybersecurity, which designates higher education institutions that have proven rigorous, outstanding cyber programs taught by highly qualified faculty.
Capitol Technology University is designated as a CAE in cyber defense along with over 300 other colleges and universities that hold this distinction for cyber operations or cyber research. Capitol Technology University was one of the early institutions to earn the CAE designation. Its graduates are well-prepared to contribute to our national and economic security. As an institution that focuses on cybersecurity and critical infrastructures, Capitol Tech is a fitting place for students to learn about critical infrastructure sectors, their use of American space and satellites assets, and their interrelatedness and dependence on strong cybersecurity.
Whether it’s about our assets in space or our cyber networks, there are three key elements to success in the cybersecurity arena: Collaboration, Education, and Innovation.
Cybersecurity must be a team sport. We can and must confront this immense threat in cyber space together. This means government, industry and academia must all share resources and threat information. We are all on the same team to protect our great nation’s assets, our way of life, our people. We must all come together with this common goal. Let’s partner together, let’s create a culture that it’s not about competing with each other, but collectively protecting our great nation. We can also collaborate to better define requirements – decide together what is needed in potential job candidates, in educating cyber professionals, and to protect our networks. We can bring our communities together to find the best way to protect our nation and its people.
Education is crucial in facing the cyber threat. Employers must ensure that their workforce is armed with the skills they need to defend space technologies.
As the lead for the NCS, I am responsible for ensuring that the cyber workforce of the nation continues to have the education and training to continue to fight the threat. Every U.S. business today values well-educated employees and supports life-long learning for skills improvement. The best businesses recognize their number one asset is their people. As cybersecurity threats keep constantly changing, businesses need to invest in employee learning to keep up and stay ahead of our cyber adversaries.
Bringing cyber education programs to our youth who will be leading our country in the future is also a key component to America’s security. In the National CAE in Cybersecurity program, the nation is building a pipeline of cyber first responders and essential critical infrastructure workers for our nation. Our goal is for students to learn cybersecurity and apply it to all of the critical infrastructure sectors, including the defense sector. This foundation can be applied to the construction, banking, finance, health care, manufacturing, transportation, energy sectors – so many areas that rely on computer technology and connectivity to the internet and satellite communications. Let’s applaud schools and universities for finding creative ways to increase creative cyber education for our school-aged Americans.
The word innovation comes from the Latin word “Innovare,” which means “to renew or restore.” Let’s not be afraid to renew how we approach cybersecurity; breathe new life into it.
This is the time for innovation. It’s the time to be willing to take risks, try something new and to learn from our failures. And that is who we are as Americans. Our strength is innovation. USA is the most innovative country in the world – and we’re eager to find the solutions to our security in space and cyberspace so the entire world is stronger and prepared.
This is the time to be excited about what’s happening at Capitol Technology University and its efforts to protect America now and in the future in the space security and cybersecurity realm. With dedication and hard work, by collaborating, educating and innovating, we can keep our country safe. America: we got this!
Apply now for one of Capitol Technology University’s degrees in Critical Infrastructure and start a meaningful career protecting the 16 critical infrastructure sectors. Through Capitol’s programs you will gain the necessary experience in IT, OT, and Cybersecurity to safeguard the physical and virtual assets, systems, and networks of America’s critical infrastructure sectors. Become an essential expert in these areas to lead efforts protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure against compromises which could debilitate security, national economic assets, and the nation’s safety and public health. Secure your future, and the future of the nation, today.