Leonardo chosen by the European Space Agency as cyber security partner for the Galileo navigation system

Today at the Cybertech Europe conference in Rome, Leonardo announced that the company has been chosen by the European Space Agency (ESA) to conduct a study into the management of data security for the Galileo European navigation satellite programme

Rome  27 September 2017 12:27

  • Leonardo is working to define the requirements and processes for the cyber protection of the Galileo satellite navigation programme
  • Galileo is a programme managed by the European Commission, with the European Space Agency (ESA) responsible for the system’s infrastructure. Leonardo contributes to the management of operations and provides state-of-the-art on-board technology
  • “Satellite-based assets play a major role in the daily lives of citizens and for national critical infrastructures. Defending them against cyber threats has become essential", said Leonardo CEO, Alessandro Profumo

Today at the Cybertech Europe conference in Rome, Leonardo announced that the company has been chosen by the European Space Agency (ESA) to conduct a study into the management of data security for the Galileo European navigation satellite programme. Leonardo will develop a benchmark architecture and define requirements and processes for managing the programme's information security, in accordance with recent European cyber regulations.

Leonardo’s aim is to support the ESA by defining a state-of-the-art security monitoring system for Galileo, taking into account new mission requirements and new security standards and procedures relevant to the European satellite network.  

"The cyber security of Space infrastructure is more critical than ever before. New technologies must be developed – including via international collaborations – to protect satellite-based assets, which have become a crucial part of the daily lives of citizens and play key roles in critical national infrastructure, from communications to transportation and defence. Protecting them against cyber threats has become essential", said Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo. "Therefore, we are proud of this collaboration with the ESA that will enable us to enhance our cyber security expertise in the cutting-edge Space sector."

Galileo, which started delivering services in December 2016, is a global navigation and localisation satellite system that will provide Europe with an independent and highly accurate positioning service. The programme is managed by the European Commission, which has delegated the technical development and deployment of infrastructure to the ESA. Galileo will provide reliable and accurate services for citizens, transport, telecommunications, security, emergency management, search and rescue, companies, banks and utilities. Leonardo has been a key industrial partner throughout the life of the Galileo programme, providing operational and logistical management from Telespazio, through Spaceopal, focusing on the development of innovative services, especially for government customers and operators with special security requirements, who will use the Galileo PRS signal. Leonardo also provides the attitude sensors which control the position of the satellites and the hydrogen atomic clocks that accurately mark the time, as well as a receiver for PRS services.

As a leading player in the space sector, Leonardo also works with the ESA on numerous other space missions including Copernicus, MetOp Second Generation, Meteosat Third Generation, Rosetta, BepiColombo, Venus Express, ExoMars, JUICE, Cassini, New Horizons, Euclid and LISA Pathfinder.

Leonardo in cyber security 

Leonardo is at the forefront of cyber security, offering sophisticated intelligence systems and dedicated real-time network information analysis at its Security Operations Centres in Chieti and Bristol, where teams of cyber experts work 24-hours a day. The company's cyber portfolio includes a comprehensive suite of products and services dedicated to the collection and management of information for police forces, government agencie, and private companies.

Leonardo's projects include the ongoing NATO Computer Incident Response (NCIRC) programme, which guarantees the cyber security of information and ICT infrastructure in more than 70 NATO sites in different member countries. Operational since May 2014, the program continues to expand and represents the largest initiative in the cyber security field outside the United States. The UK Ministry of Defence has also chosen Leonardo to protect its networks against attacks and computer crashes.

Leonardo has also started several collaborations in the security sector in Europe, Middle East and Africa to explore new markets, together with players such as the International Golden Group in the United Arab Emirates and Al Ghanim Group in Kuwait. The company is also studying new technological frontiers together with companies such as SAS Institute and consolidated partners like CISCO and F5 Networks.   

In the evolving context of the Italian Digital Agenda, Leonardo is the leader of the five-year "SPC Cloud and Security" contract. The project consists of the provision of a complete and innovative set of cyber security services, with timely and simplified administrative procedures, for the Public Administration.

Leonardo also takes part in a number of international bodies and groups in the sector; among them the European Organization for Security (EOS) and the European Cyber Security Organization (ECSO), the latter of which Leonardo founded, and  which brings together over 130 cyber organisations. The company actively contributes to institutions such as ETSI, 3GPP, EUROCAE, NATO NIAG and Confindustria Digitale.