Drones and as they are referred to in industry UAVs have evolved dramatically since their commercial inception. Counter UAV is now a real security issue in corporate, education and government environments. While the initial security issues raised by drones were those involving privacy and annoyance, they quickly developed a whole new world of threats.
Any new tech that emerges presents an opportunity for the criminally minded. It is however important to also remember that it is not only criminals with a specific focus that present a security threat. These threats also come from ignorant hobbyists, mischievous teenagers and misdirected opportunists too.
There are some excellent examples of recent incidents that have raised the reality of UAV risk. The size of the US means that there are more documented incidents than elsewhere however these risks threaten both business and government globally. Businesses that operate globally also suffer higher risk.
It was reported by the Independent that during the filming of Stars Wars – “The Force Awakens” that drones became a regular pest while filming. It is most likely that these incursions were part of an attempt to get insider information on the plot. These incidents took place in Berkshire in the UK. Following the problems with the drones, leaked images of the set were published online. In a similar incident attempts to gain information about the developing plot during the production of Game of Thrones took place. All using Drones. Whether these attempts were made by several individuals or one group or person remains unknow. The threat to the film industry and the need for counter UAV strategy overall has been highlighted as a result.
The Corporate world are not the only ones that now implement counter UAV measures. During January 2015 the entire White House in Washington DC underwent a lockdown when a drone measuring two feet in width was spotted flying in the immediate vicinity. THE US secret service managed to down the UAV and examined it for further risk.
The user of a drone that crashed into the Empire State building in New York had motives of his own. He claimed to be filming a promotion video for a non profit organisation. This was as recent as February 2016. The UAV crashed into the building and settled on the ledge five floors below. The seriousness of this incident is illustrated in the charges of reckless endangerment, illegal navigation of an aircraft that followed. Adequate counter UAV measures may well have prevented that from happening.
Perhaps one of the most frightening incidents is the August 2016 crash of a drone at the Koeberg Nuclear plant in Cape Town. The fact that the drone could get anywhere near the facility doesn’t even bear thought of the possible consequences. The security manager was suspended after leading nuclear experts globally reacted adversely. An understandable consequence. The risk to terrorism means that even at commercial nuclear plants a counter UAV solution is critical.
Developing the counter UAV strategy is the remit of the Chief Security Officer in all these situations. Because the precedent and the guidelines for these strategies are developing gradually, there is little to go with. These individuals need to research and implement strategies that have been successful elsewhere and often must come up with counter UAV ideas of their own.
Counter UAV for CSOs
Counter UAV is possibly one of the most challenging developments in the modern security industry. Regardless of the industry that they serve the CSOs will have to investigate and implement strategies. This will include drone jamming, counter surveillance and No Go Zone technology.
Developing strategies will need the cooperation and collaboration of existing security consultancies such as Drone Defence and other experts. It is unlikely that chief Security Officers can be an expert in all aspects of their remit. The rapidly changing landscape involving drones and counter UAV solutions means that experts are needed to ensure a solid security solution.
Global Counter UAV
Of course, what complicates things further is the diversity of regulation globally. Companies that operate as multinationals will need to implement diverse policies that comply with the law locally at different sites. In some countries they are well within their rights to shoot down intrusive UAVs. In others there will be complex procedures to even install jamming equipment. Counter UAV strategy is now becoming a global speciality within the security industry. It is best to seek out those that have gained experience and expertise right from the early days.