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Cyber Diner Podcast - Episode 2

The Road to Space & Cybersecurity with Preston Miller

Preston Miller describes his career journey from working with the U.S. Army to becoming the Chief Information Security Officer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Preston discusses his stances on cybersecurity in space, emphasizing the importance of pre-planning for potential risks once an object is already in space. He ends his interview with inspiration for people interested in similar space and cybersecurity careers.

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Preston’s Background with Cybersecurity:

  • The 9-11 attacks occurred while Preston was trying to figure out plans for his future, inspiring him to join the military and work in information technology. He worked on numerous tasks, such as securing communication channels and ensuring the FBI’s work was encrypted. 

  • Appreciating the problem-solving and community aspects of this field, Preston continued his work as an Information Systems and Cyber Risk Analyst at the Pentagon 

  • Seeking a change of pace, Preston applied to work at the NASA Ames Research Center in California, got the job, and now is the Chief Information Security Officer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) 


Early Notices of Transitions in the World of Cybersecurity:

  • Working with the U.S. Army, Preston was early to notice just how important of a role cybersecurity would come to play 

  • Preston makes sure to notice vulnerabilities and what systems need to be secure as a result 


Preston’s take on Cybersecurity in Space and an Overview on JPL:

  • Preston sees the cybersecurity in space as an extension of the infrastructure already on Earth. He also recognizes the cultural challenge that some systems will not transfer over. 

  • There’s no playbook for cybersecurity in space and traditional models will not always fit in a space system, so we must plan accordingly and analyze the threat landscape 

  • Cybersecurity is another chapter in the book of already established space risks 


Preston on his Passions and Tips for People with Similar Interests: 

  • Preston enjoys working at NASA because he feels like he is working towards something larger than himself by contributing to humanity’s exploration of space  

  • Passionate about passing on his knowledge to the next generation  

  • His advice is to persevere, trust the process, have a vision for yourself, and surround yourself with motivating people 


Mentioned in the Show: