CYSEC, a cybersecurity company headquartered in Switzerland, is launching its new ‘ARCA SATCOM’ product dedicated to securing internet communications over satellite. Developed under ESA’s ARTES 4S programme, the patent-pending technology is now being integrated by many satcom players.
Data security has traditionally been the number one obstacle to using commercial services which would give governmental users access to much larger bandwidth, more competitive prices, and service availability. Now CYSEC, in collaboration with technical teams at ESA, has managed to find that sweet spot where there is no longer a trade-off between security and performance to be made.
Research showed in 2019 that using consumer electronic equipment can open the door to the ‘eavesdropping’ of sensitive information broadcasted by communication satellites. This could be personal data, such as names and addresses, but could equally involve the credentials of critical infrastructure such as power plants. Until now, satellite internet service providers have offered limited over-the-air encryption capabilities in their satellite networks because terrestrial techniques, like VPN, significantly impact the performance of the link.
CYSEC worked with the ARTES 4S team to develop an innovative security product called ‘ARCA SATCOM’ aimed at solving the performance issue. “The patent-pending product uses TLS-based cryptography and hardware level security which when elegantly combined with a proxy accelerates the user traffic,” says Laurence Duquerroy, 4S Implementation Manager at ESA. “We set out to ensure data security without making any sacrifices on the user experience – and we succeeded!”
Mathieu Bailly, Vice President at CYSEC says: “The attack on the Viasat commercial network last year demonstrated that we’re experiencing a paradigm shift in the space industry. Security is becoming a must-have now, even for commercial and governmental users. We believe that our product offers a winning combination of security and performance.
“Working with ESA under the ARTES 4S contract allowed CYSEC to de-risk the development and bring a commercial product to the market that is fitting users’ requirements,” he adds.
Laurence Duquerroy adds: “In an increasingly digital word, where security and privacy concerns are becoming driving market needs for institutions, consumers and businesses, the ARTES 4S programme aims to foster the development of innovative and competitive security solutions for satcom communications. In this context, we’re delighted to have supported CYSEC within the ARTES 4S programme to develop this new commercial cybersecurity product allowing to combine end-to-end security with the advantages of a commercial satcom link. Cybersecurity is a very important topic at ESA – and not only for our own missions.”
CYSEC are currently performing several pilots with early adopters of ARCA SATCOM to prove the repeatability of performance over various links and satcom terminals. They are also setting their sights on LEO communications; the technology having originally been designed for GEO satellites. This augurs especially well with the growing development of private and public LEO constellations such as the EU’s coming IRIS2 constellation.
CYSEC is a cybersecurity company headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, pioneering security products for satcom services and newspace missions. Created in 2018, the company has more than 30 employees between France and Switzerland.