The Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) industry has become a massive technological playground worldwide. Their extensive applications make UAS very popular for the public and the private sector. Armed forces, agricultural industry, law enforcement, meteorological agencies, medical services, environmental companies, and oil refineries are but a few out of the excessive list of UAS users. UAS manufacturers spend a significant amount of money to research and develop high-tech and smart systems from aircraft-size military UAS to hand-size mini drones.
The use in almost every aspect of human activity adds value to the need of UAS evolution, but it also increases security risks. Imagine what can happen when smart and cheap drones that anyone can easily purchase from a local hobby store become weapons at the hands of adversaries and cyber criminals.
From that perspective, are drones a major threat when it comes to cybersecurity? And if so, what measures should be taken to counter them?
If I discussed drones with my friends a few decades ago, they would probably say that I was watching too many sci-fi movies. Today, drones are part of our lives. U.S. Federal Aviation Association (FAA) based on survey trends, overall market growth, and operational information forecasts an outbreak of drone registrations in the forthcoming years.
When we talk about drones, we need to consider two factors:
- Not only do they consist of the airborne platform, but they also include the control station that’s necessary for safe and efficient operation communication links.
- They have become numerous, cheaper, and more complex.
Taking the above into consideration, it is obvious that drones are a serious risk for flight safety and security. We have discussed in a previous blog the threat that drones pose to flight safety. To minimize the risk, software applications have been developed to manage and organize drone flight traffic. Besides a major flight safety concern, drones can become a serious cybersecurity threat.
The Cybersecurity Threat of Drones
Apart from airworthiness and flight safety issues, drones affect the cyber domain and the security of data. Forbes points out that the…