Are you familiar with the United States Space Force (USSF)? This branch of the US Air Force military was established in recent years to protect and secure space, just as it does for air, land, and sea with other branches.
This past month in the news, it was announced that Space Force was hiring or transferring from existing departments, a large number of people to focus on cybersecurity within the organization. Of the existing 6400 active-duty cyber personnel, 2400 members have been brought on to the Space Force branch and are now identified as Cyber Guardians.
This all sounds very Marvel comic book-like, doesn’t it? But then again, self-driving cars would have been like something we only saw in the Jetsons, right? In reality, we’re just moving forward into the future of the new and unknown, with things that once seemed so far off and unrealistic, no part of our reality.
Space Force Cyber Guardians will be protecting satellites and space-based assets from hackers and cybercriminals, who are notorious for exploiting the unknown as fast as these new frontiers are uncovered and discovered. COVID-19 put us into one of these unknown territories, and space exploration just is another example of another unfamiliar landscape that we are learning to navigate.
In what can be seen as a wise move, they initially partnered with ethical hackers to assess and their cyber defenses, which allowed them to identify gaps and then strengthen accordingly. Now they are looking for permanent team members to ensure ongoing protection.
General John Raymond is the commanding general of Space Force and recently told reporters that with hiring these team members, “They will be part of our crew force; they’ll understand the cyber terrain of space and will help us protect this critical domain from that threat.”
This new foray into protecting the cyber rights and privacies of individuals is a direct response to not only the foreign threat for control of space but also to the threat that cyber criminals present to any unfamiliar territory to humans overall. The large percentage of personnel that is focused on cyber activity is also a testament to how important the threat to any business is from cybercrime and just how serious it needs to be taken.