Drone Security: Can Drones Make You More Secure?

Few, if anyone who knows anything about drones, would question that it is difficult to find a better example of a technology with tremendous benefits, but unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) also present serious challenges, especially when it comes to the Coronavirus. Drones have now become commonplace in public venues and outdoor stadiums, and with that comes some specific concerns and fears. So when it comes to security, does drone security make us safe?

People have serious concerns about using drones in a non-military capacity, primarily due to issues of privacy. One Colorado town has gone so far as to start encouraging residents to shoot down the unmanned vehicles with “drone hunting licenses.”

The fact that drones know your location at any particular moment shouldn’t necessarily frighten you that much since you’ve been carrying a genuine tracking device for years, in your cell phone. And police and government officials have access to the massive amounts of data stored on your mobile device, so long as they have a warrant.

UAVs can greatly benefit security and surveillance operations from minimizing risk to saving time and money. More and more companies are integrating unmanned aircraft systems into their security and surveillance operations. Drones were first utilized in the military sector and have steadily migrated to the commercial, public and private sectors. They are already used across the world to fight crime to gain intelligence on potential leads and threats. They are indispensable tools already being used to keep an eye on demonstrations and other concerns.

When there is a need to provide security and ensure the safety of groups of people or sensitive locations, drone security surveillance is the ultimate solution.

Fixed surveillance cameras require security responders to conduct investigations on the ground, which can waste valuable time and can also place the responding individuals in dangerous situations. Security and surveillance drones offer comprehensive coverage of areas with no blind spots, as is the case of stationary security cameras. Such drones are the ideal tool for security and emergency responders because they can monitor the situation in real-time and respond to the action as it happens. For example, drone security systems can detect the security breaches or vulnerabilities in infrastructure or areas, while thermal imaging allows for day and night surveillance, or within spaces with limited light and visibility. The high definition imagery provided by security drones allows accurate and real-time responses.

Security drones have the ability to take-off and land anywhere which enables them to respond to critical situations more quickly. Their vertical take-off and landing capabilities makes it possible to land virtually anywhere at any time. This allows them to respond to critical and emergency situations not only more quickly but also more effectively.

These unmanned aerial vehicles are also capable of functioning any time because they are equipped with a dual-sensor camera for effective day and night operations.

Because of these features, drones can provide real-time data for the optimal deployment of the resources during critical scenarios.

Drones can be used for potential cyber or physical attacks. Using them for security and surveillance is beneficial to many industries and various applications, such as:

  • Infrastructure (power, water, life systems)
  • Intellectual Property
  • Remote Area Inspection
  • Traffic Surveillance and Management
  • Maritime Surveillance
  • Risk Assessment
  • Inspections
  • Perimeter Control
  • Railway Surveillance
  • Airport Surveillance
  • Event Security (sporting events, public open-air events, concerts, businesses, etc.)

Drone surveillance technology is experiencing rapid advancements and more and more companies are integrating unmanned aircraft systems into their security and surveillance operations. UAVs for security surveillance were first utilized in the military sector; however, it is steadily migrating to the commercial, public, and private sectors.

UAVs can help educational institutions monitor campuses, detect abnormal activity and potential threats, and send help signals immediately to school administrators and law enforcement agencies.

In industrial plants, drones can reduce costs of asset theft in addition to monitoring and verifying the quality of employee work.

Protection of public space has become a top priority of security professionals and more importantly, of owners who have liability responsibility. Unmanned vehicles are ideal in helping to reduce incidents by providing full-time drone surveillance of parking lots and various structures, as well as homes and other personal property.

UAVs can be used in so many ways by the police. Crime-fighting, especially in the area of investigation, could be improved with drones. They are also used in prisons to inform intervention teams on the ground in case of riots.

Aside from surveying areas where terrorists are hiding, drones can also be used to identify the locations of criminals and the right plan of action if criminals are holding hostages. In fact, drones used by police can also shoot if the need arises.

Unmanned aerial vehicles have not only become popular because of their speed and a wide variety of sizes are available but also because of their maneuverability—their agility—in reaching places that the local police officers can’t. There are many environments that would be difficult—even impossible—to access by foot, such as offshore oil rigs, rooftops, narrow ledges, and places too high to climb or a position simply too dangerous for an officer to put himself or herself into thus decreasing injury and even death in the line of duty.

Drones can also capture footage for days as long as the storage capacity of the drive is large enough.This can allow law enforcement to spend their time on other things, while the UAV takes care of recording valuable footage.

Unmanned aerial vehicles fitted with optical zoom and/or thermal cameras are most appealing to law enforcement agencies who used them as evidence, since surveillance or approved footage requires a clear image of any law allegedly being broken.

Technology has supported security firms with advanced electronics, sensors and video for a long time, but they have required extensive human involvement. Drones, however, can easily supplement security teams, performing monitoring tasks more quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively because they can cover large and difficult-to-reach areas with very few staff workers (operators).

Drones undoubtedly have a presence in the sky and are quite capable of deterring unwanted individuals in the area you are monitoring. This deterrence can be enhanced with payloads, such as warning lights, beacons, and sirens.

The advances in software technology has made it possible to recognize unauthorized intruders at a given site, as well as identify that person due to the motion sensing and bio-metrics-based behavior analysis, even facial recognition. With mass surveillance, such technology makes potential threats less likely to succeed.

As UAV technology continues to develop, it also presents an ever-growing challenge for security professionals, particularly those overseeing public gathering areas. To keep people safe, we need to focus on developing policies on how to deal with drones from a defensive security standpoint. This requires that we keep informed about current and future advances in drone technology. Understanding the product lines and specifications of the top commercial drone producers will enable us to gain a better understanding of the capabilities associated with drone use in public space.

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