Estonian companies sign European Space Agency cyber security deal ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Satellite view of southwestern Estonia, the Gulf of Riga and Latvian coast, the island of Gotland and the Swedish coast.
Satellite view of southwestern Estonia, the Gulf of Riga and Latvian coast, the island of Gotland and the Swedish coast. Source: European Space Agency/Reuters

Estonian space start-up Spaceit has signed a joint cyber security satellite simulator deal with the European Space Agency (ESA). Spaceit is joined by cyber security firm CybExer Technologies and IT consultancy company CGI Estonia.

The companies aim to develop a satellite operations simulator aimed at advancing cybersecurity and satellite communication systems, as well as their testing and validation in a controlled environment.

The simulator will also improve the cyber defense competence of satellite operators, system administrators and IT security experts, state agency Enterprise Estonia said Thursday.

Spaceit CEO Silver Lodi called the deal highly significant, marking as it does the first time a consortium of Estonian companies has worked in the cyber security field, together with the ESA.

Lodi said: "Our shared objective is to strengthen the rapidly growing space sector against cyberattacks. All parties to the collaboration would like to develop this solution further in the future."

Paul Liias of the economics affairs ministry called it a great example of collaboration between Estonian companies.

Liias, who is an expert in space technologies and oversees the ministry's space cybersecurity program, said: "Cybersecurity missions create an opportunity to form consortia in Estonia, which, in the long term, will also include research institutions and industrial enterprises."

"Estonian space cybersecurity missions help us to implement Estonian space policy and give local companies the opportunity to participate in the rapidly growing space sector."

Enterprise Estonia spokesperson Madis Vooras noted that the door has been opened for other companies in Estonia to benefit from further ESA tenders in the near future.

Spaceit provides mission control services to satellite operators, using its own a cloud-based mission control system with pre-integrated access to a worldwide network of ground stations. Spaceit says that around 80 percent of a satellite mission's budget can be slashed using its solutions.

CybExer Technologies provides cybersecurity solutions and has been awarded a NATO innovation award.

CGI Estonia is the Estonian branch of global IT and business consultancy CGI Group, and has been in operation in the space sector for a decade, during which time they have developed mission control software and remote sensing solutions public and private sector clients.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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