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.


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.

Continue Reading White Paper here:

Contact your local VMA field engineer today if you need help or have any additional questions.


Field Sales Engineer

Felecia Stivers, a native of Rockford, IL, now excels as a Field Sales Engineer at VMA in our Arizona office. Holding a BSEE from Arizona State University, she draws from her extensive background at Medtronic, Orbital Sciences, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman.

Specializing in high-reliability applications, Felecia stands out for her proficiency in relationship-building and innovative problem-solving. Whether contributing to medical devices or playing a vital role in rocket launches, her work has had a tangible impact on saving lives and safeguarding the nation.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Felecia enjoys time with her two teenagers, finds joy in travel, and actively engages with her local church. Driven by a passion for helping customers navigate cutting-edge technology, she is committed to delivering dependable solutions in fast-changing environments.


People and Culture Specialist

Karen has been a part of Vic Myers Associates team since February 2023. Prior to her position as People and Culture Specialist, she worked in the Science & Technology field as an HR Manager & Project Lead for SAIC and LANL. In the short time with VMA she has learned a lot and looks forward to knowing our business even better in support of all of our employees. She values her church community, her two sons who happen to be engineers, volunteering, and golf. Karen is located in our Albuquerque, NM 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.


Can’t find what you’re looking for?