Estonian companies are working with the European Space Agency (ESA) to create the world’s first space cyber range. This initiative enables companies in the field to test their software, conduct training, and develop their cyber defence capabilities.
Today, the services and competitiveness of many sectors depend on satellites located in space. But with the development of technology, in addition to traditional sources of danger such as technical errors and collisions of satellites, there are threats in space caused by humans. Therefore, the European Space Agency is paying special attention to possible cyber threats, especially as taking over remote control of satellites becomes cheaper over time.
To promote security, two consortia consisting of Estonian companies are developing a space cyber training ground concept. The first consortium includes Spaceit, CybExer and CGI, and the second Nortal and Talgen. Foundation CR14, established by the Ministry of Defense of Estonia, is a member of both consortia.
“Estonia’s private sector has huge potential in the space sector and the capabilities to provide the cyber range with high-quality content, exercises and data,” said Hannes Krause, Head of R & D at CR14. ”The CR14 team is ready to take the lead in this initiative, relying on more than ten years of technical and contextual experience,” added Krause.
Silver Lodi, CEO and co-founder of Spaceit, explained that given the growth of services depending on space technology and global political tensions, cyber security of space infrastructure is more critical today than ever. “The new range should, among other things, allow us to simulate specific space-related environments and potential threats, validate various industry-specific components and processes, and contribute to developing know-how related to space cyber defence,” he said.
Martin Ruubel, CEO of Nortal’s cybersecurity line, said that the space sector’s cyber threats have a unique risk profile, which sets additional requirements on business models and infrastructure security. “Space technology supply chains are extremely complex, closed and heavily regulated. In addition, the space industry is a target for cyber operations conducted by states aimed at intellectual property theft, espionage or military interests. Estonia, in general, and Nortal are pretty unique with their existing IT, cyber security and defence know-how, as well as startup mentality, and can provide their services in cooperation with ESA to companies and organisations active in the space sector, both in the European Union and globally,” he added.
According to Ruubel, the space cyber range creation is a good example of the cooperation of the state and private sectors and provides an opportunity to test space technologies and processes under controlled conditions to prevent possible problems, train problem-solving, and develop practical skills of the people engaged in this field.
Estonian entrepreneurs reach the European Space Agency through the Estonian Space Office at the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency, whose central task is advising entrepreneurs and mediating suitable calls for tenders. “In cyber security, Estonian companies are known and recognised by ESA. This is a strong indicator that a small country like ours has the knowledge and skills to become a leader at a European scale in the implementation of space services, management of threats, development of autonomous robots and ensuring the cyber security of the space sector,” said Madis Võõras, Head of the Estonian Space Office.
The largest Western Europe-led cyber exercise Defence Cyber Marvel 3 took place in Tallinn, on CR14's cyber range, featuring 41 teams with one thousand participants from 90 organisations, 17 nations and 51 industry partners.Read more
The largest Western Europe-led cyber exercise Defence Cyber Marvel 3 took place in Tallinn, on CR14's cyber range, featuring 41 teams with one thousand participants from 90 organisations, 17 nations and 51 industry partners.
As we power down 2023, let's reboot our memories and revisit the cryptic journey of CR14 – filled with important numbers, strong global partnerships, and an inspiring growing team of #cyberrangers.Read more
As we power down 2023, let's reboot our memories and revisit the cryptic journey of CR14 – filled with important numbers, strong global partnerships, and an inspiring growing team of #cyberrangers.