MITRExchange Tech Innovation Series Debuts, Inaugural Talk focused on Securing the Future of Space

November 7, 2018

The MITRExchange tech innovation event series lifted off on Nov. 7—a metaphor that perfectly fit the subject of the first session: how to ensure that the mushrooming number of commercial space vehicles will be secure against cyber threats.

MITRE President and CEO Jason Providakes presented cybersecurity as a familiar problem on Earth that must also be addressed in space.  Said Providakes: “We are at the beginnings of exponential growth of new capabilities that will transform the way we operate here on Earth. It’s truly going to transform our lives.” And, in an era where high school students can build and launch CubeSats and others can buy tickets to tour space, government and industry must work closely together to ensure such vehicles can operate safely.

During the 20-minute “TED-talk” like panel discussion, MITRE Vice President and Chief Security Officer Gary Gagnon and IT Chief Matthew Scholl of the National Institute of Standards and Technology joined Providakes to discuss space’s most pressing needs. Among them: the implementation of a new critical infrastructure that allows space vehicles to operate. Another key theme was the need to help raise cyber awareness among companies who build and launch space vehicles. Gagnon emphasized the importance of making sure companies building and launching space vehicles are aware of the latest in ongoing research on the greatest vulnerability to cyber attacks. The panelists also discussed ways of keeping space vehicles patched against such attacks—a potentially major challenge, given that many satellites stay in space for many years once launched.

MITRExchange is new tech innovation series to convene industry, policy and government leaders to discuss solving problems for a safer world. Do you have topic ideas or sponsor/ government guests that might want to join in the discussion? Please send your ideas to: mitrexchange@mitre.org

(Video) New tech innovation series. Highlight reel on how to manage cyber threats in space and the many considerations to engineering a resilient civil space environment. MITRE CEO Jason Providakes talks with NIST's Matt Scholl and MITRE CSO Gary Gagnon.

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