Establishing a Safe and Secure Municipal Drone Program

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Establishing a Safe and Secure Municipal Drone Program

According to a report from Tractica in 2015, the interest in utilizing drones for commercial applications will drive commercial-grade UAV shipments from 80,000 units in 2015 to more than 2.6 million annually by 2025. The market intelligence firm forecasts that annual revenue from commercial drone hardware sales will reach nearly $4 billion within the same timeframe. However, the more significant revenue opportunity will be in commercial drone-enabled services, which Tractica forecasts will grow to $8.7 billion annually by 2025.
Drones are expected to play a key role in the smart city environment, providing support for a range of use cases: medical, transport and agriculture. These civil implementations can also be used for emergency management use cases such as critical infrastructure protection and inspection, forest fire fighting, police augmentation, coastal monitoring, and identifying changes in urban vegetation. Drones will also be used to support telecommunication services in the handling of capacity surges and the restoration of services following a disaster.
The implementation of drones in the smart city will involve multiple drone platforms that operate simultaneously to run missions. These drone systems must be safely deployed and operated, and protected against compromise. They also need to be highly available and ready to be called upon when required for a mission.
The main drone system challenges are: • The need for drone manufacturers to improve security by integrating methodical security practices into their development and manufacturing efforts. • Identifying and addressing the multiple points of integration within a city-wide drone system that can be used as attack vectors, including cloud-based software service. • Establishing stabilized and standardized regulations to recognize possible measures to deal with rogue drones, evidence collection options, no fly zones, etc. • The use of new, as yet unproven, algorithms to support automated operations and cooperation between drones. • The fact that drones will eventually be authorized for widespread Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS), operations and security engineers are expected to plan now to protect against future threats of integrating drone systems into national airspace.

Many indicators still show vendors consider security as an added cost and prefer to offer more features over protection. It is the responsibility of vendors to establish a safe and secure environment for drones’ operational quality and stability, if urbanized environments are to adopt them and benefit from their potential. It is also important for governments to implement regulations to enforce safe security standards and disallow the implementation of weak cyber security measures in live environments………………………………..

 

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Authors

Brian Russell Chief Engineer, Leidos
Mohamad Amin Hasbini Senior Security Researcher, Kaspersky Lab
Martin Tom-Petersen Client director and partner, Smart City Catalyst

Contributors
Sabri Khemissa

Drew Van Duren

Brian Daly

Paul Lanois

David Jordan

Jonathan Petit

Sandeep Singh

Alan Seow

Vish Rao

Raghavender Duddilla