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NIST Seeks Comment on Cybersecurity Framework for PNT Ground Systems 

By Rachel Jewett | April 18, 2022
cybersecurity cyber security

Photo: Via Satellite archive

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking comments on a cybersecurity framework for satellite ground systems in positioning, timing, and navigation (PNT) systems. 

The draft document “Satellite Ground Segment: Applying the Cybersecurity Framework to Assure Satellite Command and Control,” was released on Monday. It was authored by Suzanne Lightman of NIST, and Theresa Suloway and Joseph Brule of MITRE. Comments are due June 20.

According to the document, the report applies the NIST Cybersecurity Framework to the ground segment with an emphasis on the command and control of satellite buses and payloads to support the goals of Space Policy Directive 5 (SPD-5) for securing space. It is designed to be a foundational guideline as part of a risk management program to help organizations manage cybersecurity risks to systems, not to issue mandatory practices or regulations. 

“Space is an increasingly important element of the nation’s critical infrastructure,” the document says. “To protect this sector, NIST has developed this profile under the Cybersecurity Framework to assist the operators of the commercial ground segment of the space sector in providing cybersecurity for their systems. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides a means for stakeholders to assess their cybersecurity posture in terms of identification, protection, detection, response, and recovery operations and to derive a plan to elevate risk posture.”