Security Issues in Hybrid Networks with a Satellite Component
December 01, 2005
Satellites are expected to play an increasingly important role in providing broadband Internet services over long distances in an efficient manner. Most future networks will be hybrid in nature — having terrestrial nodes interconnected by satellite links. Security is an important concern in such networks since the satellite segment is susceptible to a host of attacks, including eavesdropping, session hijacking, and data corruption. In this article, we address the issue of securing communication in satellite networks. We discuss various security attacks that are possible in hybrid satellite networks and survey the different solutions proposed to secure data communications in these networks. We look at the performance problems arising in hybrid networks due to security additions like Internet Security Protocol (IPSec) or Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and suggest solutions to performance-related problems. We also point out important drawbacks in the proposed solutions and suggest a hierarchical key-management approach for adding data security to group communication in hybrid networks.