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Cybersecurity concerns in the satellite industry – how vulnerable are you?

By Tomaž Lovsin

Imagine reading this headline: Major news channels and 13 other TV channels hacked at playout centre.

Thankfully, it is pure fiction and completely made up.

But the title, though written in a yellow paper-style, carries a grave warning. Just imagine a targeted attack on one of the larger teleports, playout centres or satellite operators. In fact — can you really imagine such a scenario?

The year 2017 saw some of the biggest cyber threats in recent history, with millions of consumers and thousands of businesses affected by everything from the WannaCry attack to the Equifax and Uber data breaches. Gartner reports that worldwide, information security spending will reach US$86.4 billion by the end of 2017, and the 2017 Cybercrime Report anticipates cybercrime damages to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021.

As most, if not all, of a teleport’s or playout centre’s infrastructure is already based on IP, the question of cybersecurity inherently increases its importance. The threat of various malware needs to be taken seriously and our industry will indeed need to focus more on the issue and address it sooner rather than later.

The ostrich approach of burying our heads in the sand simply will not work here.

Tomaž Lovsin is CTO of STN, a provider of satellite and teleport services. Read the APB May 2018 issue for Lovsin’s full article.

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