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Col. Jennifer Krolikowski: System Flexibility Key to Implementing Satellite Security

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Col. Jennifer Krolikowski, chief information officer of Space Systems Command, said the U.S. government should factor in flexibility when it comes to choosing satellite security technologies in order to reduce technical debt and maintain a solid cybersecurity posture.

We need to have flexibility in the architecture, with tech that is containerized, so we can pop these amazing solutions in and out of the ecosystem as tech evolves or the threat changes,” Krolikowski told Via Satellite in an interview published Tuesday.

She cited company certification and the early incorporation of security into product design as some of the challenges in the U.S. Space Force’s partnership with the commercial industry.

Krolikowski aims to promote connectivity, accessibility and containerization to ensure efficiency in the agency’s collaboration with private sector partners.

When asked about the balance between government-owned and commercial space assets, she pushed for a “buy before build” approach that prioritizes acquiring commercially available products over spending state funding to build them from scratch.

She said applying existing commercial infrastructure, capabilities, maintenance and services and using federal resources to fill in supply chain gaps will help the government meet cases and outcomes faster.

To protect military supply chains from cyberattacks, Krolikowski noted that “keeping a healthy and robust industrial base” is important to enable the Space Force to switch vendors, if needed, without disrupting the broader ecosystem.