Steady As She Goes: Still Protecting, Toughening and Augmenting PNT

The New Captain

President Joe Biden took office on January 20, 2021 and shortly thereafter started mustering his crew. On February 2, Congress confirmed former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of DOT; Professor Robert Hampshire from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy was appointed DOT Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology. Some observers think that, based on his resume, publications and policy engagement focus, Hampshire’s appointment forecasts a continuation of Trump-era PNT policies.

The good ship USS GPS Protection seems to be full steam ahead. Less than a month into the new administration, and after public comment and agency review, Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published the final “Foundational PNT Profile: Applying the Cybersecurity Framework for the Responsible Use of Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Services.” (NISTIR 8323). Recall that the PNT Profiles concept was the lynchpin of Trump’s EO 13905. “The PNT Profile was created by using the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and can be used as part of a risk management program to help organizations manage risks to systems, networks, and assets that use PNT services…intended to… serve as a foundation for the development of sector-specific guidance.” It contains pages of user-friendly charts and is accompanied by a “Quick Guide.”

“The Profile has perhaps the most comprehensive list of PNT cybersecurity references compiled into a single document so far,” said Jim McCarthy, Senior Security Engineer, NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. “They can serve as examples for anyone trying to tailor the profile’s approach to their own system.”

Read more at: Inside GNSS