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SPACEBEL and CYSEC secure software deployment test contract from ESA

  • June 17, 2022
  • 3 min read
SPACEBEL and CYSEC secure software deployment test contract from ESA

Swiss computer and network security company CYSEC and SPACEBEL, based in Belgium have been awarded a contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) to test the secure deployment of a new generation of mission control software on a satellite simulator. SPACEBEL will demonstrate cyber resilient ground segment solutions that may become the benchmark for future ESA missions and even Newspace missions. The recent attack on commercial satellite Ka-Sat illustrated how cyber threats are becoming more and more of a concern for satellite operators.

The latest version of the EGCS-CC software will be tested by SPACEBEL in the satellite simulator while adding a cybersecurity component in cooperation with CYSEC. This proof of concept is crucial for protecting space infrastructure from cyberattacks. Particularly, mission control centres are vulnerable assets because they provide real-time support to Space missions and services through telemetry and tele-command management for satellite control.

“Today’s news about the Ukrainian crisis and global warming is putting the finger on very critical infrastructure that needs to be secured, especially in the energy, transport, and space sectors. Data needs to be protected concerning the major challenges, coming from economic and geopolitical pressure.” said CEO and Co-Founder of CYSEC, Patrick Trinkler talking about the importance of data security.

CYSEC was founded in 2018 by Patrick Trinkler and Yacine Felk, two cybersecurity entrepreneurs. The company provides a confidential computing solution, enabling secure collaboration in the cloud and on the edge for valuable data. CYSEC raised investments in a seed funding round earlier this year. Swiss investment firms Line Break Capital, Blockchain Valley Ventures and Rajat Khare led Boundary Holding were some of the companies that participated in the funding round.

According to the website of CYSEC, “On the ground, this 11-month project with SPACEBEL will test on a satellite simulator the deployment of the European Ground Systems – Common Core software (EGS-CC) in the ARCA environment. The goal of the two partners is to commonly address the needs of future missions in which cybersecurity will have to be baked in,”

SPACEBEL is a Belgian Space systems and software engineering company which was established in 1988. SPACEBEL develops instrument simulators and provides solutions for the processing of the instrument data. “We are delighted to start working with CYSEC and to have the opportunity to test their product ARCA to secure our mission control software. This collaboration will allow us to offer ground segment solutions with fully integrated cybersecurity which will become the new standard. Not only for future institutional missions but also for new space missions.”

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