Conceived by the Science & Technology Partnership Forum in 2017 in response to recognized information-sharing gaps within the cybersecurity and space community, the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) was announced in April of 2019 during a classified session at the 35th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Space ISAC held its inaugural board meeting in November of 2019.
Last week, the Space ISAC board met for its third board meeting— virtually.
Between the inaugural board meeting and this third official gathering, the Space ISAC has continued to grow, announcing multiple new members of the founding board and convening for their second board meeting in January of 2020. During the that meeting, the Space ISAC’s bylaws were formally established and the group began the important work of the Space ISAC, including achieving exciting institutional milestones such as launching an Information Sharing Working Group to lay the plans for Space ISAC’s threat intelligence sharing.
David Weissmiller, Parsons, Space ISAC Chair, Member and Benefits Committee, said, “The partnerships that the Space ISAC brings to the enterprise could not have come at a more relevant time. Every element of the space domain is realizing revolutionary changes sparked by the advances in technology, including the advances in the threats to the space ecosystem. This makes the establishment of the Space ISAC an imperative for success. Parsons is proud to be a part of this organization and helping to protect and secure the domain.”
The second board meeting came the day before the Space ISAC met with stakeholders from the federal government, including the National Security Council, National Space Council, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, Department of State, and others. Together, the Space ISAC board and the government stakeholders discussed how to maximize the value of this information sharing group focused on space.
A senior government official said that the first meeting between the U.S. Government and the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center was an opportunity to enhance this collaboration and learn from each other. The United States looks forward to cultivating a relationship with the Space ISAC as it works to gather, analyze, and disseminate critical cyber threat information related to space.
In February, the Space ISAC attended RSA 2020 in San Francisco, CA, where the group conducted an interactive workshop for space industry leaders with the support of founding board member, MITRE. The workshop served as an opportunity for industry leaders to share perspectives on how to maximize the value of this information sharing group and to discuss cyber threats facing the space industry and how the industry can pool resources and knowledge to develop solutions to mitigate them.
Scott Kordella, Director of Space Systems for MITRE, said this workshop included new potential contributors to space cyber security capability development. That’s why the company went to RSA – to seek the most cutting edge new cyber protection capabilities. MITRE feels that space is another sector that needs to improve its cyber protection posture using approaches that other sectors have developed. Space, while a unique operating environment, is no different than others, in many ways. MITRE seeks to take advantage of that fact and make progress on this quickly.
As the group met officially for the third time, Space ISAC worked to finalize the scope of threats to the space industry, made plans to announce a new website and a threat intelligence platform and run the first Space ISAC Summit.
ISACs are sector-specific, member-driven organizations stood up by the commercial sector with support from the federal government to collect, analyze, and disseminate cyber and physical security threats and risk mitigation information to critical infrastructure owners, operators, and members to increase resiliency.
The Space ISAC is the only space-dedicated ISAC and is made possible through the investment by its board and founding members. Initial founding members of the Space ISAC, which include Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS), Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH), MITRE, SES, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), and Parsons Corporation (NYSE: PSN), are each granted a seat on the board of directors and has a role in fulfilling the mission of the ISAC: to facilitate collaboration across the global space industry to enhance our ability to prepare for and respond to vulnerabilities, incidents, and threats; to disseminate timely and actionable information among member firms; and to serve as the primary communications channel for the sector with respect to this information.
The need for a Space ISAC was conceived by the Science & Technology Partnership Forum in 2017 in response to recognized information sharing gaps within the cybersecurity and space community with the goal of enhancing the community’s ability to prepare for and respond to vulnerabilities, incidents, and threats; disseminate timely information; and serve as the primary communications channel for the sector with respect to this information. The Forum shared this vision at the 34th Space Symposium in April 2018. In September 2018, the White House published the White House’s National Cyber Strategy, which stated that “the Administration will enhance efforts to protect our space assets and support infrastructure from evolving cyber threats,” while working “with industry and international partners to strengthen the cyber resilience of existing and future space systems.”