Space Cyber Range

How Does Space Cyber Range Ensure the Security of the Industry?

As our everyday lives become increasingly dependent on satellites and other space solutions, the overall space industry continues to grow at an exponential rate. 

According to Euroconsult, the global space economy was worth a staggering $464 billion in 2022, and this trend will only continue to grow – more specifically, research shows that the potential revenue from the global space industry is estimated to hit $1 trillion by 2040. 

But what are the challenges associated with this exponential growth? And how can we address them? 

Well, the key challenge of this industry is all about understanding how to approach cybersecurity in space and what the related risks are. Space-based assets become progressively more connected and dependent on digital systems, which increases the likelihood of cyber attacks. 

Space-based assets need testing and validation before deployment to identify vulnerabilities and ensure the high-level security of the solutions. 

Space Cyber Range tackles exactly this problem – it enables companies operating in this field to conduct proper training, validate their tech, and develop cyber defence capabilities. This article will give an overview of the importance of this solution, as well as the benefits and use cases that come with setting up the proper cyber range in space. 

Why Is Cybersecurity in Space Important?

Taking the increased business interest and global political tensions into consideration, cybersecurity of the space infrastructure is more vital than ever before. 

Different types of space assets, such as ground systems and satellites, are fundamentally important for the space environment that underpins the European economy and military presence. 

The ability to impact multiple systems by compromising a single space item is an attractive target for cyber attacks. This is the reason why the European space and defence community must ensure the security of space technology. 

Cyber threats and attacks on space systems are likely to increase and become more dangerous over time. Space-based assets become more interconnected and reliant on digital systems, which increases the risks of cyber attacks against those systems, and organizations must be ready for that. 

There is a growing number of small satellites in space that can be particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks. At the same time, the increased usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning in space systems could potentially be used by attackers to gain access to sensitive data. 

To address these concerns and ensure the high-level security of different space assets, it is important to develop a framework for the Space Cyber Range, an end-to-end artificial environment, which will be responsible for the following actions: 

  • Mimicking various space-related environments and potential threats. 
  • Allowing validation of end-to-end and stand-alone solutions for cybersecurity. 
  • Being able to facilitate different cyber defence related events with additional space infrastructure components included. 

Examples of Cyber Security Projects in Space From Cybexer Technologies

Let’s have a look at the example of how CybExer Technologies contributed the University of Tartu Academic Satellite project, ESTCube-2, to be launched in space. 

The goal of the project was to understand the behavior of space satellites and learn more about making digital twins on a cyber range. It is important to provide critical, highly reliable, and secure connectivity for various missions happening in space.  

However, the challenge in this project was to track the satellite’s progress at such a massive scale. This is where the Digital Twin technology proved to be extremely useful – with the help of CybExer Technologies, the team was able to create the exact replica to test different scenarios before the launch. 

The outcome included cybersecurity testing based on a digital functional clone of a satellite and its operating systems. It was important to create a user-friendly and cost-effective environment where the emphasis is on automation and cybersecurity testing is easily manageable. 

Another example of a successful space cybersecurity project includes Satellite Operations Simulator (SatOptSim) for Cyber Exercises. 

Initiated by CybExer Technologies, Spaceit, and CGI Eesti, the project was aiming to develop a fully functional virtual simulator for satellite operations and deploy it in a cyber range.  

SatOptSim enables participants to simulate Live Fire exercises – attacking and defending a satellite mission to expand their cybersecurity skills into the space domain. This tool empowers the development, testing, and validation of satellite communication systems in a controlled environment. 

It helps to test and develop communication protocols, ground station network management, satellite fleet management and optimization, and operational procedures.  

A more recent initiative that our team is involved in for space-tech solutions is directly in connection with the space cyber range: 

In cooperation with the European Space Agency, CybExer Technologies, together with Spaceit, CGI, and CR14, are helping to develop Space Cyber Range to tackle the current challenges space-tech companies currently face.

What Is the Purpose of Developing Space Cyber Range for Companies?

Space Cyber Range will give the companies in this field the opportunity to conduct useful cyber exercises, test their software, and improve their cyber defence capabilities.

Different purposes that this developing space Cyber Range include:

  • Design, development, assessment, testing, and validation of innovative security solutions, such as End-point Detection and Response (EDR) tools and others. 
  • Security assessment, testing and validation of satellite communication systems and products at any stage of development. 
  • Assessment of new solutions against accreditation or certification requirements, in view of a future accreditation. 
  • Offer validation capabilities for security aspects of use cases and applications, which include communication protocols, as well as authentication and authorization solutions. 
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing for related parties to easily transfer experiences between the space and cybersecurity communities. 

What Benefits Does the Space Cyber Range Offer?

Developing a technology like Space Cyber Range is beneficial for companies and organizations operating in this field in many ways. The most prominent benefits include: 

  • Cyber Range Gives an In-Depth Knowledge About Cybersecurity Risks 

When it comes to developing various solutions for space, it is extremely important to know all about the security risks that come with launching the product. 

Space cyber range can help to tackle this problem by providing increased knowledge about the specific area, solutions, or applications, as well as risks that come with deploying this solution. 

  • Better Validation and Testing of Solutions in This Field

Conducting a proper security assessment and validating various communication systems is vital when launching space solutions. 

With the help of space cyber range, it is easier to identify vulnerabilities and faults, which will lead to improved end-products. At the same time, in this case, it is easier to issue certificates to ensure the product’s readiness for deployment. 

  • Increased Efficiency in the Process

When it comes to creating space solutions, there is a lot of research and optimization involved in the process. Cyber Ranges provide end-to-end testing capabilities, which helps to make this process more efficient by helping providers with research, integrations, and other capabilities. 

At the same time, it offers different components, softwares, and tools in a single platform – this also represents extra revenue opportunities for providers offering solutions on this platform. 

Use Cases of Space Cyber Range

Space cyber range has many useful applications, which can be beneficial for all the parties involved. Let’s have a look at some of the use cases that can be instrumental for organizations developing different space solutions. 

  • Operator Trainings

Properly training different operators and ensuring their solution’s security is vital for risk prevention. Cyber ranges can ease this process by offering pre-launch, LEOP, and post-launch training sessions to the operators. 

  • Testing and Validation

Ensuring the security of different security tools, custom solutions, and communication protocols, Software Defined Radio (SDR) based applications, and p2p satellite networks with the help of space cyber range.

  • Red Team vs Blue Team Exercises

The Red Team vs Blue Team cybersecurity exercise is a simulation of a cyber attack where two teams are pitted against each other, where red represents attacking, and blue represents defending teams. 

  • Safe Environment for Security Research Development (R&D)  

Cyber range also helps space solution providers with proper R&D programs, which leads to reduced costs, improved efficiency, and faster deployment processes. 


As space-based assets become increasingly reliant on digital networks, cyber threats to space systems are likely to become more advanced in the future. 

Therefore, it is vital to develop a solution, like Space Cyber Range, that will help space-tech providers test and validate their products, ensure the security of their technology, and fully understand cybersecurity risks associated with their projects.