What We Need to Know Now: Drones and Security

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Regulators and Lawmakers

What regulators/lawmakers are doing to handle security risks caused by drones

According to Lusk, at least 41 states are considering legislation related to drones in the 2016 legislative year, while six states have actually passed something. While most of those new laws deal with outlawing drones for hunting, Oregon legislation makes it a misdemeanor to operate a weaponized drone and can regulate the retention of data collected via drones.

As of yet, it does not appear much is being done to address malware risks.

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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