Inside Quantum Technology

Small Satellite Tech Urged to Look to Next-Generation Protections for Quantum Computing

Illustration of a satellite orbiting the earth

( Federal agencies ranging from the Federal Communications Commission to the National Institute of Standards and Technology are pushing advances in small satellite technologies. Smallsats are currently used for everything from communications to remote sensing to scientific research. There are numerous startups working to make small sat technology a real player in the digital communications revolution.
Matt Scholl, chief of computer security at NIST, said the small satellite technology is also emerging at a sensitive time in cybersecurity. Scholl urged small satellite technology developers to look beyond today’s cybersecurity algorithms to next-generation protections that take emerging quantum computing technologies into account.
“Cryptographic agility is critical for small satellite security,” he said. However, citing the vehicles’ small size and location, he likened protecting the space vehicles to protecting internet-of-things devices.

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