product resource whitepaper

ALTA DT- 1553 Network and Cyber Security Testing

APPLICATION NOTE: Legacy systems and networks pose especially unique challenges for cybersecurity policy, one of which is the MIL-STD-1553 multiplex data-bus communication protocol.

Cyber security refers to the protection of network-connected systems from unauthorized access. A military or commercial-derivative aircraft contains complex avionics; a system of systems. These embedded electronics are connected using various communication networks, and are always an amalgam of new and old designs. Legacy systems and networks pose especially unique challenges for cybersecurity policy, one of which is the MIL-STD-1553 multiplex data-bus communication protocol. First released in 1973, the MIL-STD-1553 protocol continues to be the command-and-control backbone for mission critical weapons systems on military aircraft. It remains in use today because it is deterministic, fault tolerant, and time-tested; but it was not designed to address contemporary cybersecurity issues, and so acts as an entry point for cyber threats.

APPROACHES TO RESILIENCY

To implement a complete, robust cybersecurity policy for 1553-based systems, we would ideally revise the protocol to include modern-day capabilities like authentication, encryption, and partitioning. However, this is impractical because it would not address the massive installed base of 1553 systems in operation; nor would it fully address newly designed platforms (F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, for example) that tend to use systems that couple modern networks with legacy 1553-based systems. MIL-STD-1760, last updated in 2007, is an aircraft-store interconnection spec that includes 1553 as a method of communication, and adds a checksum to 1553 messages. It is an improvement over 1553’s word parity only check, but does not provide the protection needed for modern cyber threats.

Instead, increasing the cyber resiliency of legacy embedded systems is a piecewise process of introducing new components to support artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) algorithms. These algorithms provide anomaly and intrusion detection, logging, warning, and possibly mitigation. There are two main approaches, both of which have difficult tradeoffs to manage.

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RYAN CHRISTIAN

President, Field Sales Engineer

Cell Phone: 480-577-7172
Email: [email protected]

Ryan was raised in Mesa, Arizona, attended Gilbert schools and graduated from ASU in 2006 with a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies. He went on to complete his MBA at the University of Phoenix Campus in Mesa. Prior to VMA, Ryan worked 5 years as a consumer sales consultant and then 5 years as Program Analyst at Orbital Sciences, now Northrop Grumman.   Outside of the office, Ryan loves to spend time with his wife, 12yr old daughter and twin 7 year old boys. Ryan loves to get outdoors to hunt & fish as often as possible, serves frequently with kids and adults at church and enjoys quality BBQ time with his friends and family. Ryan is located in our Arizona office.

Natalie Myers

Inside Sales Administration

Natalie Myers joined Vic Myers Associates in September 2021 and is excited to be part of the team. She received her bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix and prior to her position as Inside Sales Administration she worked in the Hospitality Industry for over 15 years as a Senior Sales Administrator. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, family and friends along with watching sporting events, traveling, hiking and cheering on her daughter in dance and basketball! Natalie is located in our Arizona office.

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