Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center to be based in Colorado Springs

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The space industry will have its own ISAC, Kratos Defense & Security Solutions is the first founding member.

COLORADO SPRINGS — Industries such as aviation, financial services and energy have organized what are known as Information Sharing and Analysis Centers. ISACs have been around since the late 1990s and were created by the U.S. government to collect, analyze and disseminate information about security threats that affect specific sectors.

On Monday, executives and government officials met in a classified session at the Space Symposium where it was announced that the space industry would have its own ISAC,  with Kratos Defense & Security Solutions as its first founding member.

As the founding member, Kratos provides the initial funding and support to set up the organization. Phil Carrai, president of Kratos Technology & Training Solutions Division, said the Space ISAC is being created to support the White House National Cyber Strategy, published in September, which calls for the government to work with industry to “strengthen the cyber resilience of existing and future space systems.”

Kratos will pay $75,000 per year in dues as a founding member. There are a total of 10 founding member slots, and each gets a seat on the Board of Directors. The dues can be paid in cash or with in-kind services.

Carrai told SpaceNews  he expects at least 200 companies — including satellite and launch vehicle manufactures, and their supply chains — to join the group. Platinum membership costs $50,000 a year,  gold $25,000 and silver $10,000.

The Space ISAC is being organized as a 501(c)(6)nonprofit, and government officials can participate in advisory roles, not as members. The 501(c)(6) status allows the ISAC to work directly with the government to help define security standards, for example.

The Space ISAC’s unclassified analysis center will be based at the National Cybersecurity Center in Colorado Springs. Member companies can do analysis work at their own facilities.

Frank Backes, senior vice president of Kratos SATCOM products and federal space solutions, will serve as the acting president of the Space ISAC.

Backes said the company was asked by the government last year to lead the standup of the ISAC because of its experience developing space systems, especially ground infrastructure. Space architectures are said to be increasingly vulnerable to electronic and cyber threats. Member companies would provide information to the ISAC about potential security threats. That data would be analyzed and the ISAC then would share the information through a secure portal so companies can figure out how to combat those threats as they develop and build new satellites or other space systems.