Drones have developed into a new hobby for technology enthusiasts. However, industrial spies and agents have likewise discovered their potential for spying out competitors. They fly over plants and take films in 4K quality. In the worst-case scenario, the drones are equipped with ammunition and can target and destroy machines. A drone defense shield allows for drones to be detected before they take off to attack.
London Gatwick airport, November 18, 2018. The airport is closed. 1,000 flights are cancelled, 140,000 passengers are stuck. This is because of a drone alert. The costs of the incident for the British low-cost airline easyJet alone amounted to around 17 million euros. This is not an isolated case. In May 2019, all takeoffs and landings at Frankfurt airport were cancelled for about an hour due to a drone. The number of sighted drones at German airports has risen to nearly double, from 88 drones in 2017 to 158 drones in 2018. Whenever a drone is sighted over an airport, the airport is closed. Takeoffs and landings are canceled. The background: German airports are currently barely protected against potentially dangerous drones.
According to a survey by the German Unmanned Aviation Association (VUL), there are currently around 500,000 drones in Germany. Around 455,000 are used privately. A third of those are just toys. According to the survey, only around 19,000 drones are currently being used commercially. However, the number of professionally used flying objects is increasing rapidly, as they can be used for a large number of different purposes. On the one hand, drones, especially in combination with artificial intelligence, are one of the most important – and most dangerous – types of new weapon technology. On the other hand, they are already rescuing lives and being used for surveying, mapping, inspection, and films and photography from the air, for example for construction projects. The agricultural sector is likewise beginning to use drones.
Drones from next door’s garden have become an issue. Despite all prohibitions, hobby drone pilots are using the integrated camera to spy on their neighbors. What is a nuisance in a private context can constitute a serious risk for companies. The information drones may obtain is frequently worth millions to the pilot’s criminal clients. Drones enable the production and storage sites to be spied on and monitored.
You too may have locations which may be an interesting target for a drone attack. That open warehouse next to the factory. That testing track for prototypes. The research laboratory on the testing site. Or even the air-conditioning system on the roof of your data center, which could be attacked and disabled by a drone.
One popular target are car manufacturers’ test tracks, where prototypes are tested. Research sites of suppliers are likewise popular objects for espionage. Air-conditioning systems on roofs are a further target. In the worst-case scenario, data losses can result from a drone attack on the air-conditioning resulting in an IT outage.
But a remedy is available: we can install and configure a drone defense shield for you, manage the launch, and provide service and maintenance. Companies without their own control room or security control center may use the drone defense shield via a secure cloud. Would you like to connect the system to existing threat defense or property management systems? Protocol interfaces make this possible, and simultaneously ensure the systems stay up to date. After all, criminals are creative. Regular updates of new drone signatures are therefore added to the system via the interfaces.
“I recognize you from somewhere!” In order to classify and, if possible, identify a flying object, the installation is equipped with a central database. Every drone has specific features which are related to the underlying software and can be saved as a signature – or drone DNA – in a database. Regular updates enable any user of the defense shield to detect even new drones immediately and reliably.
I’ve discovered you now and, ideally, even know who you are. And now what? Public security authorities in Germany are authorized to use electronic interception measures. This is not an option available to the private sector. Although it is technically possible to ground a drone in a controlled way, legal restrictions and the risk to third parties render this difficult. Electronic interception techniques such as “jamming” are likewise prohibited. Jamming overrides the communication between the drone and its remote control and can cause the drone to crash. However, if a drone is detected in a particular location, the police can be called. They will find out on location why, of all places, the owner of the drone felt the need to start the drone next to your company’s premises.
Alongside planning, development, installation, and launch of the system, Telekom also offers further services such as operation and maintenance as managed services. Deutsche Telekom itself uses the drone defense shield to protect some of its important group sites.
Future-proofing a company requires four building blocks: connectivity, cloud and infrastructure, security, and digitalization. With the help of a Drone Defense Shield from T-Systems, security against industrial espionage is improved.