The battlefield is technology driven for all the benefits it delivers. The rise of digital armies and soldiers embracing technology for real time communications, surveillance and reconnaissance, telemedicine, mapping and analysis to get the big picture of what is happening on the ground continues unabated.
Armies are exposed to military threats in all theatres as well as cyber threats. In 2016, NATO warded off 500 cyber attacks each month according to statistics compiled by the military alliance. In February 2017, the final report of the Defence Science Board (DSB) Task Force of Cyber Deterrence noted that the cyber threat to US critical infrastructure is outpacing efforts to reduce pervasive vulnerabilities. It concluded that a more proactive and systematic approach to US cyber deterrence is urgently needed.
So, how can field commanders be sure that the satellite communication equipment they will employ during operations will work anywhere, at any time, in any network situation? How can they be sure that traditional on-air testing of satellite terminals will not expose them to cyber attacks and unwittingly reveal sensitive information about a mission and its location?
The answer to some of the concerns of the DSB seems simple. With the military using the global satellite network BGAN for mission-critical communications, GateHouse Telecom has developed the BGAN Application Tester (BAT) and it ticks all the boxes about cyber security concerns. With BAT, the military can test satellite terminals whenever they want in a closed, secure environment off-air before using them in the field.
“Off-air testing of BGAN terminals before military operations begin will offset any concerns commanders may have about equipment working and cyber security,” said Tine P. Pedersen, Sales Director, Satellite Communication. “Equipped with BAT, the risk of releasing sensitive information during mission preparations is eliminated.”