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  • Global Military Communications

Viasat next-generation encryption solution achieves national security agency certification


Viasat Inc announced its next-generation ground-to-space encryption product, the KG-255XJ, is now National Security Agency (NSA) Type-1 certified. The KG-255XJ End Cryptographic Unit (ECU) is now certified for protecting classified Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) and below, including Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) and mission data communications between Satellite Operations Centers (SOCs) and satellites on orbit. Type-1 is the highest security certification level awarded by the NSA, and the KG-255XJ is the only cryptographic solution in production today with the capability to access every TT&C link on all current orbiting U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) satellites.

The KG-255XJ builds upon Viasat’s KS-252 programmable/multi-functional space crypto with the addition of modern non-proprietary RESTCONF interfaces. This HTTPS-based protocol will provide for easy integration to enable complex satellite operations to now be conducted at the speed of machine learning and artificial intelligence driven algorithms. This allows users to closely control, monitor and aggregate data across large satellite constellations operating in multiple orbits. The KG-255XJ expands Viasat’s family of KG-255X products that have long provided flexible encryption solutions by offering encryption at Layer 2 or Layer 3 network levels, which will enable easy software upgrades to enhance security, and providing a solution for multiple use cases with a single device. Viasat’s Programmable Scalable Information Assurance Model (PSIAM) cryptographic technology in the KG-255XJ provides the foundational security capabilities to replace multiple legacy ECUs into a modern, multi-functional encryption device.

“The proliferation of satellites in space and the complex nature at which they operate—at multiple orbits, altitudes and frequencies—can increase an adversary’s ability to attack and take over a satellite communications system,” said Craig Miller, president, Viasat Government Systems. “Our KG-255XJ solution, built in coordination with deep customer insight, provides a single device that protects satellite command and telemetry links while reducing the complexity and costs associated with integrating multiple satellites and space systems. This encryption capability will deliver value for both government and commercial customers, and Viasat is committed to developing future capabilities to ensure the access control security of our nation’s vital strategic space assets.”

The KG-255XJ is configurable for multiple cryptographic functions and offers new security features to address emerging and expanding threats. Viasat continues to coordinate with military customers and satellite integrators to utilize this software reprogrammable capability to add additional functionality to meet the evolving needs of the space community and bring a holistic approach to securing the entire ground-to-space system versus protecting a single asset or data set.

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