The Need For Digital Trust In Space Applications

LuxTrust’s mission to secure the digital lives of citizens and companies is finding a new orbit, in space. Frédéric Tourret, Head of Strategic Initiatives and Developments at LuxTrust, shares more details.

Most of us have used the LuxTrust token and application to securely carry out banking or administrative operations. This has been the core focus of the cyber security firm since it was established in 2005 as a joint initiative of the government and the main banks in Luxembourg. In 2016, it expanded its reach to the whole European Union and to new business sectors, such as space.

“The space sector is going through an incredible digital transformation”, explains Frédéric Tourret. “And it comes as no surprise that LuxTrust products and solutions designed to protect digital assets find their place in the digitalisation of the space sector.”

Today, space-based applications are dealing with a growing amount of data from multiple sources making them more efficient, but also more prone to data manipulation and alteration. Security was previously seen as a constraint to the market, but today it brings value and is among the top differentiator in the space industry. “Because the number of cyber-attacks is increasing, digital trust is now paramount”, says Frédéric Tourret.

“Because the number of cyber-attacks is increasing, digital trust is now paramount.”

Frédéric Tourret

Reliability and digital trust are thus essential for the services that use space data to power applications or for decision-making. Bad or false data loses its usefulness and, as Frédéric Tourret says, “any malicious data manipulation can result in harmful consequences or bad decisions.”

The nature of space data applications also requires different access levels, some with dual uses for civil and military companies. Securing access parameters and verifying the identities of the different users is also a core focus of LuxTrust in space activities. “We will ensure the same level of security for a space system as for any web banking application, for example,” says Frédéric Tourret.

LuxTrust is already involved in multiple space-related projects. Among the projects underway is EM-SAT (Advance Data Management for Chemical Industry), a product to ensure the security of 220 high chemical industrial sites and their surrounding populations in Belgium and Luxembourg. Supported by the Luxembourg Space Agency, it uses space technology to monitor and manage the security of chemical plants and deploy solutions to avert crises. LuxTrust’s role has been to secure the data exchanged and ensure European-approved trusted services.

LuxTrust is also part of the Luxembourg QCI (Quantum Communication Infrastructure) consortium, defining Luxembourg’s quantum communication infrastructure for Europe. Based on quantum mechanics principles, the ultra-secure encryption technology Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) will secure confidential data, power grids, government communications and digital transactions.

LuxTrust has invested in researching and developing new technologies to be one step ahead. “The next generation of security technology will make our solutions more resistant to cyber-attacks that don’t exist now, but will be there in the coming years,” concludes Frédéric Tourret.

This article was first published in the Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Read the full digital version of the magazine on our website, here. You can also choose to receive a hard copy at the office or at home. Subscribe now.

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