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Cybersecurity in orbit


March 28, 2023

QuSecure™, Inc., a leader in post-quantum cybersecurity, today announced that the company, in collaboration with Accenture, has accomplished the first successful multi-orbit data communications test secured with post-quantum cryptography (PQC), which refers to cryptographic methods that are secure against an attack by a quantum computer. This demonstrates that crypto-agility, successfully rotating to a less vulnerable algorithm, is real and possible.
Before this achievement, data from multi-orbit satellites could be collected and potentially broken by classical means and quantum computers with enough power. Recognizing the world’s growing reliance on satellite communications, QuSecure and Accenture teamed to deliver a crypto-agile quantum-resilient channel from earth to a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite. From there, the breakthrough transmission included a switch over from LEO to a geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellite and back down to earth, as a model for redundancy in the event of breach, failure or threat to satellites in a single orbit.

Outer space is getting more crowded and contested every day, and providing reliable space-based security is critical in today’s global economy

Tom Patterson / Quantum and Space Security lead at Accenture

This outcome was accomplished through an Accenture-facilitated LEO data transmission. The entire transmission was secured using both classical cybersecurity and quantum-resilient cybersecurity utilizing QuSecure’s QuProtectTM platform, all with no installation of software on the satellites. This demonstrates QuProtect’s ability to upgrade secure communications on existing hardware with a software layer. QuSecure’s software solution is an opening salvo in the $20 billion a year crypto modernization effort that government and private enterprise are undertaking to implement a zero-trust architecture before quantum computers begin decrypting today’s data.

Now QuSecure and Accenture can help organizations conduct live, more secure (from both a classical- and quantum security perspective) communications and data transmissions through multiple orbits in space. The flexibility, speed and abundance of LEO satellite communications (350-2,000 km altitude) can be protected by QuSecure’s Quantum Secure Layer (QSL) within traditional public key infrastructure.

We are thrilled to announce our work with Accenture as we embark on a revolutionary journey to secure the digital landscape through multi-orbit networking, crypto-agility, and a strong, synergistic collaboration

Garrison Buss / QuSecure’s Chief Strategy Officer