The Space Force is making strides toward protecting its critical assets in space with the award of a $17M contract to develop a zero-trust system that can keep space assets safe and sound.
Xage Security Gov, the federal-focused arm of a startup building a zero-trust cybersecurity platform, announced this morning that it’s clinched the contract from Space Systems Command. The award will pull the company through development and testing of its platform across DoD system architectures and get it one step closer to deploying in an operational environment.
Xage 101: Xage Security was founded in Silicon Valley back in 2017 with plans to build an all-encompassing mesh cybersecurity platform, dubbed Xage Fabric, to bridge security across a variety of systems and devices.
- The system uses a “zero-trust” architecture, meaning that any person trying to access a protected asset, whether from within or outside the owner’s organization, needs to be verified before being granted access.
- Zero-trust is high on the DoD’s list of priorities when it comes to securing critical space infrastructure.
Since its founding, the company has clinched a number of DoD contracts for R&D and testing of Xage Fabric, including Phase I and Phase II SBIR contracts and a TACFI award that accelerated the platform’s development and tested it in simulated environments.
Matthew Heideman, Xage Gov’s president and general manager, told Payload that Xage Fabric is currently meeting ~70% of the DoD’s requirements, and is focused on building out the rest. The platform is currently deployed in production across multiple consumer markets.
The award: Xage’s newest contract is worth up to $17M over the next five years. In that time, the company will focus development for DoD in three areas:
- Securing ground systems using zero-trust principles
- Planning to secure the next generation of ground and space assets, including preparing for secure communications between commercial and government-owned assets
- Building out zero-trust data exchange
The contract’s initial period will last 18 months. During that time, Heideman said that the company plans to build out an architecture and test plan as well as ramp up its lab infrastructure.
Assets on 🔒: The Space Force is making cybersecurity a top priority as it builds out its next generation of space and ground assets. It’s opening its pockets accordingly, with $700M of its $30B budget request for FY2024 earmarked for cybersecurity.