What is Security's Role Regarding Drones
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration expects commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) "drone" purchases to grow from 600 thousand in 2016 to 2.7 million by 2020. Combining that with purchases by hobbyists brings that number up to 7 million drones in the sky by 2020.
Where Drones Are Being UsedDrones are being used for varied purposes. About 20% of the organizations polled were using drones for reasons other than security. Much of this use was for data collection, for example in facilities and asset inspections, especially for items or locations that are difficult to reach otherwise. Drones were also frequently being used for photography, communications and media purposes.
When considering security related purposes, drones were being used or considered for use for activities such as surveillance, similar to fixed video cameras, and as a substitute for or an enhancement of foot patrols. Some selected responses are listed below (edited):
Anti-Drone ActivitiesDefending against drones can be difficult from a legal perspective. Depending on governing law and regulations, some anti-drone methods may be considered illegal. Consequently, reviewing proposed activities with your legal team is recommended. Over 20% of respondents stated that Security was involved in anti-drone policies or technology initiatives. Most of these respondents appeared to be in the early research and investigation phase of their anti-drone activities. Some of the anti-drone technologies mentioned were (edited):
SummaryDepending on your organization, UAS use can a business enabler and/or a risk to manage. On the positive side drones provide a level of mobility that can be difficult or expensive to achieve using other methods. The flip side is that the legal and regulatory playing field regarding anti-drone measures is somewhat ill-defined and demand careful review by your legal group.
For more information on this topic see Security Program Strategy & Operations: Emerging Issues
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Copyright Security Executive Council. Last Updated: January 31, 2019
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