What We Need to Know Now: Drones and Security

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Top Security Concerns for the General Public

Privacy is the issue that the general public tends to worry about most. While Williams stated that the "Peeping Tom" aspect may be overblown, the fact is that most commercial drones do have cameras and many photographers, both professional and amateur, are using drones for aerial pictures. The general public simply doesn't know if and when their likeness is being captured.

Drones can be a threat to physical security for the general public, as well, said Ryan Jones, partner at Coalfire Labs, as more users are modifying their drones to be weaponized and to carry everything from handguns to rifles to chainsaws.

Drones are expected to have a huge effect on industries across the board in the coming decade. So much so that business owners like Chuck Williams, owner of Float Avionics, believe that drones able to move autonomously as well as digitize and send that information to the relevant people will be as important to businesses as the spreadsheet has been. Drones, Williams added, are the physical extension of an increasingly digital world.

Usually when one thinks of drones and security, the first thought is the dangers to airplanes or privacy violations. But because drones are basically flying computers, the potential for security-related flaws and vulnerabilities is there. In fact, at least one strain of malware has been found to directly affect drones; it can allow attackers to remotely control the device.

Drone security is complicated, however, because it encompasses so many different types of security threats. This is creating challenges for programmers, lawmakers and the general public, who need to address drone security without lessening the positive aspects of the devices.


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