Cybersecurity in space: not as far out as you’d think.
By Maria Varmazis, Host of T-Minus, the daily space podcast, N2K Networks
May 1, 2023

An introduction to this article appeared in the monthly Creating Connections newsletter put together by the women of The CyberWire.

Cybersecurity in space: not as far out as you’d think.

After lots of behind-the-scenes work, I’m so glad (and relieved!) that I can now talk about T-Minus, our new daily space industry podcast at N2K Space, which I have the privilege of hosting.

I worked in cybersecurity marketing and communications for about 15 years, so it might seem odd or even unexpected that suddenly I’m working on a show about space of all things.

But from the broad perspective of someone who’s spent her career in the B2B world, infosec and space honestly have a lot of overlap. More than you might think, truly! It’s too reductive to call one bits and the other one atoms – there are certainly physical components to infosec and software is making huge inroads into space systems. To me, it’s all in the headlines – the top priority for many space leaders, we hear over and over again, is securing their spacecraft from cyberattacks. Russia’s attack last year of a Viasat network – a commercial network! – over Ukraine wasn’t particularly sophisticated from an infosec point of view, but it did shine a spotlight on the current state of space-cybersecurity, and it isn’t where it should be. (Though they’re certainly not alone in that, to be fair.)

All said, it is very exciting being a part of the space industry right now, especially as it’s going through the most exciting time it has seen since the Apollo program. As space operations continue to digitize and rely on increasing amounts of commercial off-the-shelf software, many cybersecurity professionals who have never given space systems much thought might be surprised how much their knowledge is both transferable and highly-valued in the (sorry) space space.

So if you’re thinking of making a move to the space industry – or are already there and want to stay on top of what’s going on – I encourage you to give T-Minus Space Daily a listen, and let us know what you think.

You can also listen to my episode of the CyberWire's Career Notes where I share my cybersecurity and now space career story.