The activity is now focussed on identifying opportunities for Satcom networks, and investigating the implications on system design and operations, brought about by recent evolutions in the Cyber security environment.
Many economic activities in modern society are dependent on secure telecommunication services, including those implemented using satellite telecommunication systems. Cyber security considerations are therefore gaining importance during the design and operations of such satellite telecommunication systems. With regards to the design of satellite systems, previous Agency and ARTES studies have already performed threat analyses and made consequent enhancement proposals e.g. low-cost interference or transmissions security (TRANSEC) measures. Improved security of TT&C of telecommunication satellites is also addressed in on-going activities. This activity shall therefore study how far the design of satellite communication systems might be influenced by cyber security regulations and shall identify new service opportunities which might be enabled by cyber security considerations.
Opportunity 1: taking into account future cyber security regulations and measures early in the design phase to enhance the satellite offer:
Future satellite systems will need to comply with upcoming regulations related to cyber security. Such upcoming regulations could be new lawful interception regulations, requirements imposed by future Safe Harbour agreements, or new minimum encryption standards. Satellite systems will be increasingly used to deliver OTT (Over-The-Top) services in addition to the regular telecommunications services. OTT services like instant messaging, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc. will be increasingly subject of cyber security regulations such as lawful interception regulations. Non-compliance with such regulations might result in refusal of a telecommunication license to operate such services in specific countries.
It is also expected that satellite systems will increasingly use virtualisation technologies and distributed ground segments (e.g. multiple optical uplinks in various countries), and even use virtualisation in the space segment. Virtualisation of resources will also allow the emergence of new network and service providers addressing new niche markets (e.g. M2M/IoT). How such new providers, architectures and technologies will comply with upcoming cyber security regulations is still an open field of research. Satellite systems which take into account such upcoming regulatory frameworks might present an attractive commercial offer.
Opportunity 2: future cyber security regulations- including the more restrictive ones – might present an opportunity to for new systems which circumvent or alleviate such regulations:
The cyber security regulations which are imposed in various parts of the world might present an opportunity for novel satellite services. Some stringent cyber security measures (possibly leading to unauthorised access to data by unknown governments) could possibly be overcome by using satellite systems which offer guarantees that a certain country or geographical areas is not traversed. Recently, a number of U.S. initiatives have proposed to extend the communication, processing, and storage of data to the space environment, i.e. using advanced processing capabilities on board satellites supported by optical or RF high speed links. Such systems might present an attractive offer for secure transactions or enable the avoidance of complex jurisdictional regulations.
The activity shall therefore identify future cyber security measures which might present design and operational challenges for satellite communication systems, and study concrete actions for tackling such challenges. Future satellite communication systems in GEO and LEO shall be considered with advanced distributed ground segments, with and without any on-board processing. The activity shall further identify cyber security measures which could lead to attractive offers based on satellite communication systems, and propose the corresponding system architectures and concepts which could compose such offers. The activity shall actively liaise with regulators and organisations that are involved in cyber security issues (e.g. The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, BEREC and the ETSI Technical Committee on Lawful Interception (TC LI)).
The activity shall generate concrete actions to help ensure that future satellite communication systems can answer to future cyber security requirements. Furthermore the activity shall propose and detail satellite communication services, concepts and architectures which could offer competitive communication services in an environment that is be constrained by cyber security measures.
The outcomes of the activity shall influence discussions in which upcoming cyber security regulations are discussed, and make sure that satellite communication systems are not disadvantaged by such proposals. The activity outcomes shall also lead to proposals for technical developments under the ARTES Advanced Technology or ARTES Competitiveness and Growth elements.