Securing the Space Domain: Exploring the Intersection of Cybersecurity and Space

Prof. Dan Bloomberg, VP for Regional and Industrial Development, Ben Gurion University and Chairman of the Israel Space Agency, spoke at the Cybertech Global Tel Aviv conference

Photo: Ronen Topelberg

“Until a decade ago, accessibility to space was only a nation-state thing: only nations could build, launch, and operate satellites in space. Now there is great corporate acceleration, big investment in space, and the amount of downstream applications has been growing significantly. We can no longer think of our lives without relying on space,” said Prof. Dan Bloomberg, VP for Regional and Industrial Development at Ben Gurion University and Chairman of the Israel Space Agency.

Speaking at the Cybertech Global Tel Aviv conference this afternoon (Wednesday), Bloomberg noted that a lot of this acceleration is thanks to the sharp decrease in the costs of launching satellites into space, the cost-per-kilo. At the same time, the weight of the satellites themselves is decreasing providing for lower costs.

“In 2021 there were 7941 satellites in orbit. Today there are 8261 operative satellites, and many many more up in space, Bloomberg added. “As of March 2024, there are 5504 Starlink satellites in orbit, of which 5442 are operational. Elon Musk wants to reach 40,000 satellites. The space sector has reached an inflection point – where commercialization is beginning to outpace governance.

“This has been driving new use cases, capabilities, and users for satellite-based data. We are anticipating continued growth and incorporation in many non-space industries such as automotive, energy, mining, insurance, agriculture, and more. Our lives depend nowadays on space assets.

“These new capabilities bring about new threats to all users: governments, military and civilian systems, smart cities, companies and corporations, the military, and private users. Space systems have to continue operating in a cyber-contested environment. Open-source systems are adversaries to that and easier to hack.

“Current commercial open-source solutions are insufficient. Many of the satellites now up in space have been flying for a long time. A satellite’s life span is long, about 15 years, but threats evolve quickly. Cyber defense capabilities must be agile if they want to be effective.

“Now is the time for action: space is a global problem, a cross-domain platform, and a limited commodity. It’s time to get together and act with our partners.

Rare-earth elements between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China
The Eastern seas after Afghanistan: the UK and Australia come to the rescue of the United States in a clumsy way
The failure of the great games in Afghanistan from the 19th century to the present day
Russia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. The intelligence services organize and investigate