PSSA Newsletter - Issue 27

– 4 – Newsletter sponsor: NEWS  |  ISSUE 27 Coronavirus pandemic sees increase in drone activity Increased drone activity during COVID-19 highlights airspace and perimeter vulnerabilities. Amit Samani, Vice President Enterprise Sales, Dedrone, writes for PSSA Are drones living up to the expectations of their users and the general public? Certainly, we are seeing more incidents in the news in past years of drones interrupting airport operations, appearing at sporting events, and dropping contraband at correctional facilities. However, airspace regulators, security teams, and drone users are now grappling with the long-term changes to our day-to-day lives as a result of a global pandemic. Months into the introduction of ‘shelter-in-place’orders, which have included complete upheavals of the global economy, prompted critical infrastructure security teams to flip switches from normal to emergency operation modes. We can now take a moment of pause to see what’s happened in the past few weeks to understand what new vulnerabilities exist for ourselves and our business operations. COVID-19 is forcing security teams to re-assess and radically prioritize where and how they protect their standard operating procedures when protective resources, such as law enforcement, may be scarce or delayed. The effects of COVID-19 have resulted in higher visibility to promote the use of drones in our day-to-day lives. There are numerous stories in the media of first responders using drones for social distancing enforcement and surveillance. This drone activity is parallel with several start-ups launching commercial delivery services to deliver groceries and medical goods. It finally feels like those early predictions of the proliferation of drone usage are being realised, and the use of drones will exponentially grow after the pandemic is under control as the general public now accept the values and are less intimidated by the risks. Dedrone has a considerable install base globally, and we also see that COVID-19 has resulted in another phenomenon. Dedrone is observing a sharp increase in consumer drones being flown by the general public close to sites of critical national importance, which should be noted, are also government-regulated no-fly or restricted flight zones. We can point to drone pilots who may be unaware; however, there are significant advances in drone flight technology to ensure compliance with flight regulations. We must continue to highlight the opportunists who will ignore all laws and seize this moment to gain the upper hand against organisations security teams that are being reduced or are working only on securing critical operations. Our data indicate a sharp increase of drone use near; V Major cities with no-fly zones V Airports V Utilities including Power, Energy and Nuclear V Fortune 500 organisations With more drones in the airspace, security teams are now advancing their understanding of the realities of the threat they pose, and their requirements for new security technologies. When considering drone defense, a natural first question may be, how do I eliminate the threat, or, in the case of drones, what tools can we use to remove it from the airspace?Whilst this is a natural reaction, the realities of such actions can have significant commercial impact due to collateral, physical, and reputational damage. Not to mention, that drones in many countries are classified as aircraft with the same protections as passenger aircraft. Interfering with a drone could have drastic consequences. Before considering defeat strategies, perimeter security managers will need to first confirm the drone's presence and collect data on their airspace activity. Enterprises can begin their airspace security program with a cost-effective threat assessment to quantify the risk. Rather than diving in and investing upwards of millions into untested and unnecessary solutions, a prudent security professional would first need to create a complete data-driven risk assessment. Dedrone provides this service, which can be arranged via our numerous partners globally. Once a security team achieves situational awareness, like other security systems, the main outcome should be how to use the data to build standard operating procedures. If you consider the threats posed by a drone such as surveillance, disruption, weaponization, etc., you will already have some clearly defined procedures to defend against these, albeit in land-based formats. By using data, an organisation can stay one step ahead. We have seen our clients implement a range of logical procedures that have resulted in a number of wins and ensured that security teams stay one step ahead of their adversaries. The airspace security win is straightforward: Use data to build resilience in your airspace and update your standard operating procedures to account for drone risks. Drones in many countries are classified as aircraft Increased drone activity during COVID-19 highlights airspace and perimeter vulnerabilities