I have survived my first week back in the professional world. It feels good to be back. Officially, my job title is Information Security Engineer, which sounds more impressive than the actual work. There are three of us in the Information Assurance section and our job is to ensure that the systems being built for the military (by our company) meet all the security requirements levied by the Department of Defense. Needless to say this is a fairly involved process.
Since the bulk of our projects revolve around military commuications satellites and the control systems that support them, the security implementations tend to be pretty rigorous. We have to meet a variety of standards ranging from cryptographic certifications by the National Security Agency (NSA) to more routine Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) requirements. The bottom line is that it constitutes a rather large volume of paperwork. We prepare the certification packages for the systems which are ultimately certified by the government.
As I mentioned the bulk of the work centers around the Defense Communications Satellite Systems (DSCS), pronounced “discus”. You might be surprised to learn that the Army manages a large part of DSCS. The DSCS system consists of five primary and six residual satellites in geosynchronous orbit, ground control stations, and user terminals. The DSCS satellite constellation was designed to support long-haul communications between major military commands. DSCS was used
extensively throughout Operation Desert Shield/Storm and serves as the primary communications link for U.S. forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Access to the DSCS satellites is tightly controlled. DSCS provides communications services for the following networks:
• Global Command and Control System
• Global Combat Support System
• Defense Switched Network
• Jam Resistant Secure Communications Networks
• Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment Networks
• Mobile Subscriber Equipment
• White House Communications Agency
• Navy Flagship Command and Control Networks
• Ground Mobile Forces and Afloat communications
The two major projects we are working right now are KaSTARS systems for the Army and TMCS for the Navy. This is all new stuff to me (the satellite part) so I have lots to learn.