Blog

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Inmarsat’s constant commitment to cybersecurity for assured and protected anytime, anywhere SATCOM access

October 29, 2019 Blog

Jonathan Stewart, CISSP-ISSMP, CAP, CISM, Vice President, Cyber Security & Information Assurance, Inmarsat Government

The satellite environment in which we collectively operate is far from benign. Space is a crucial domain for national security that requires a common response: resilience, speed and agility. U.S. government leaders are calling for fewer government-based stovepipes and more industry collaboration, acknowledging how commercial satellite communications (COMSATCOM) effectively meets the requirements for protected SATCOM.

With National Cybersecurity Awareness Month upon us, there is no better time to expand upon our commitment here. In an era when space plays a vital role in the national security enterprise, we cannot be vigilant enough in protecting our satellite-based systems.

Given the unique, geographically-based challenges of government missions, today’s users demand assured access. “Assured,” meaning there is never any doubt about anywhere/anytime availability, maximum capabilities, absolute flexibility – supported by industry-leading security and proven resiliency. The technology exists today. Through Inmarsat’s ongoing partnership and collaboration with government, as well as risk sharing and shared investments, we continue to innovate by augmenting military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) with secure and protected tactical COMSATCOM offerings designed with enhanced interference resistance and anti-spoofing protections.

For Inmarsat, resilience, redundancy and reliability are paramount. We design our resilient satellite and ground infrastructure based on redundancy, command encryption and a vigilant mission assurance posture. This includes technology advancements, enhanced capabilities and improved encryption. Users simply connect and can realize the enhanced operational benefits. This brings the desired flexibility, agility, information assurance and cost-effectiveness that allow government users to complement their military systems quickly when needed — the ultimate resilience approach.

We firmly believe that cybersecurity is the shared responsibility of all public and private organizations. We work closely with world-leading industry forums and government agencies, our technology and channel partners, and end users to ensure that we are all aligned with the shared goal of adequately defending and aggressively protecting information and services from attack. For example, since June 2015, Inmarsat has been embedded into the Commercial Integration Cell (CIC) within the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC), which transitioned to the Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC), and has agreements in place with the National Security Agency (NSA) for compliance with CNSS-12 (Committee on National Security Systems) policy as well as other mission assurance requirements.

We do this not only because it is the “right” thing to do, but because it is imperative for our customers. Robust cybersecurity implementation and the highest levels of information assurance are critical to government operations and are a positive discriminator when choosing services and suppliers.

Toward this goal, we maintain a strong, ongoing investment in cybersecurity as a core element of Inmarsat’s network and customer services so that our systems are not only adequately defended, but well protected to the highest industry standards. Our industry-leading framework for effective, efficient and adaptable cyber risk management is applied across all our systems, products and services. Cybersecurity is embedded throughout the entire lifecycle of our technology; from design and production, to operations, and even end-of-life. The protection of our systems is central to everything that we do. Cybersecurity does not and cannot exist in isolation. To be effective, it is incorporated into the business, commercial and strategic decisions Inmarsat makes every day.

Space is continuing to emerge as a contested domain, and threats are evolving. That is why we always look far ahead and make cybersecurity a top priority. We are committed to providing secure and resilient SATCOM capabilities that meet the expectations of even the most demanding of government customers, who require the highest levels of security and resilience. We do this by adhering to internationally recognized standards and by employing best in class monitoring and encryption capabilities. Through our commitment to a proactive, multi-layered strategy, we best position ourselves to fortify our systems and deliver the assured services that our valued government users expect.

We stand in a state of constant preparedness – for anything. If these industry-leading commitments and capabilities are of interest, then please contact Inmarsat.

About the author

Jonathan Stewart

Jonathan Stewart is the Vice President of Cyber Security and Information Assurance for Inmarsat Government Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inmarsat plc, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications to the U.S. government. In this role, he is responsible for protecting the corporate communications network from cyber threats, building and maintaining classified networks, and ensuring managed customer networks adhere to stringent Department of Defense (DoD) security requirements.

Mr. Stewart was first introduced to protecting complex systems when he honorably served in the U.S. Air Force (USAF). After the USAF, he worked for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), where he assisted in establishing DoD-wide system security standards. He has more than 12 years tenure with Inmarsat Government.

Mr. Stewart holds a Master of Science degree in Information Systems, a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology, two Associate of Science degrees, and several security industry certifications including the CISSP-ISSMP, CAP and CISM.