Indiana University Launches Space Cybersecurity Program to Address Growing Concerns

The Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University establishes the Space Governance Lab to tackle the complex challenges of space governance and cybersecurity in an increasingly crowded and vulnerable outer space.

The Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University, known for its expertise in public spaces, has set its sights on the final frontier – outer space. With the influx of new players, including governments and private corporations, entering the once desolate expanse beyond Earth’s atmosphere, the need for comprehensive space governance has become increasingly urgent. Recognizing this pressing issue, the Ostrom Workshop has established the Space Governance Lab to delve into the multifaceted challenges posed by this new era of space exploration. This includes political, legal, technical, and social considerations, as well as the growing vulnerability to cyberattacks. In response to this evolving landscape, the Ostrom Workshop has launched the world’s first academic program focused exclusively on space governance and space cybersecurity – the Space Cybersecurity Digital Badge program.

A Groundbreaking Academic Program Addressing Space Governance and Cybersecurity

The Space Cybersecurity Digital Badge program, offered by the IU Kelley School of Business, is a noncredit certificate program that equips students with the necessary skills to navigate the complexities of space governance and protect against cyber threats. This program is the first of its kind globally, highlighting Indiana University’s commitment to addressing the unique challenges of cybersecurity in the context of outer space. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible for a three-credit waiver towards Kelley’s Certificate in Cybersecurity Management and can further pursue a master’s degree program in cybersecurity risk management at IU.

Tackling the Vulnerabilities of Space Infrastructure

The increasing dependence on space-based infrastructure, such as satellites, has made space cybersecurity a critical concern. The military, economy, and daily life are all reliant on these systems, making them vulnerable to cyberattacks. The Space Governance Lab aims to explore the vulnerabilities in space and develop strategies to mitigate these risks. By bridging the gap between technical expertise and law and policy, the lab prepares students to tackle the challenges posed by the commercialization of space, space traffic control, property rights, and resource exploitation.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Space Governance

The Space Governance Lab engages students from various schools within Indiana University, including the Maurer School of Law, the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that students gain a comprehensive understanding of the technical, legal, and policy aspects of space governance. By combining expertise from these diverse fields, the lab aims to produce a new generation of professionals equipped to address the challenges of cybersecurity in space.

Expert Insights and Real-World Perspectives

The Space Governance Lab has attracted renowned experts in the field to share their insights and experiences with students. Guest lecturers have included Scott Nelson, director of academic engagement at U.S. Cyber Command, Erin Miller, executive director of the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center, Kassandra Vogel, principal space systems security architect at Blue Origin, and Nick Saunders, chief cybersecurity and data officer for government systems at Viasat Inc. These experts provide students with invaluable real-world perspectives on the complexities of space governance and cybersecurity.

Conclusion: As the world ventures further into outer space, the need for robust space governance and cybersecurity measures becomes increasingly apparent. Indiana University’s Space Governance Lab and the Space Cybersecurity Digital Badge program are pioneering initiatives that address these pressing challenges head-on. By equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the complexities of space governance and protect against cyber threats, Indiana University is preparing the next generation of leaders to safeguard our space-based infrastructure. As the field of space governance continues to evolve, the Space Governance Lab will play a vital role in shaping policies and strategies to ensure a secure and sustainable future in outer space.