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DRONE SECURITY MONTH: Know your drones – Security drone types & technologies

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), aka drones, are not just enhancing traditional security measures, but are also introducing new capabilities. Let’s explore the different types of commercial drone technology available in the UK and how they can be deployed…

1. Surveillance Drones

Surveillance drones are the most common type used in physical security. Equipped with high-resolution cameras, these drones provide a bird’s eye view, making them ideal for monitoring large areas like industrial complexes, construction sites, and public events. Advanced models come with thermal imaging to detect individuals or activities in low-light conditions. The ability to cover large distances quickly and navigate hard-to-reach areas makes surveillance drones a powerful tool for real-time monitoring and rapid response.

2. Tethered Drones

Tethered drones offer a unique advantage for prolonged surveillance missions. Unlike conventional drones, which are limited by battery life, tethered drones are connected to a ground power source, allowing them to stay airborne for extended periods. This continuous aerial presence is invaluable for ongoing security at critical infrastructure sites or during prolonged public events.

3. Multi-sensor Drones

These drones are equipped with multiple sensors, including visual, thermal, and sometimes chemical sensors, to provide comprehensive surveillance. Multi-sensor drones are particularly useful in scenarios where security teams need to monitor different types of threats simultaneously, such as detecting intruders while also monitoring for fire hazards.

4. Autonomous Patrol Drones

With advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, autonomous patrol drones are becoming a reality. These drones can autonomously navigate predetermined routes, making them perfect for regular patrolling of perimeters and critical assets. They can detect anomalies or intrusions and alert security personnel, allowing for rapid response.

5. Indoor Drones

Indoor drones are designed to navigate and monitor interior spaces, which can be challenging for traditional security systems. These drones are smaller and more agile, capable of manoeuvring through tight spaces and providing security in environments like warehouses, shopping centres, and large office buildings.

6. Counter-drone Technology

As drones become more prevalent, the need to protect against rogue or unauthorised drones has arisen. Counter-drone technology, or anti-drone systems, can detect, track, and, if necessary, neutralise intrusive drones that pose a security threat to protected spaces.


Commercial drone technology offers a range of solutions to enhance physical security. From advanced surveillance capabilities to autonomous patrolling and counter-drone measures, these technologies provide security professionals with new tools to protect assets and ensure safety. As this technology continues to evolve, it is poised to become an integral part of modern security strategies.

Are you assessing the potential of drones for your organisation’ security needs? The Total Security Summit can help!

Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

DRONE SECURITY MONTH: The emerging role of drones in physical security

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The advent of drone technology marks a significant evolutionary step in physical security, offering novel approaches to safeguarding commercial and public properties. Here in the UK, security professionals are increasingly harnessing the capabilities of drones, not only to enhance existing security measures but also to innovate new methods of surveillance and threat assessment. Let’s explore the current and potential future contributions of drone technology in the field of physical security, as informed by attendees at the Total Security Summit…

Current Applications of Drone Technology

Presently, drones are primarily used in physical security for surveillance purposes. They offer a unique aerial perspective, which is particularly advantageous for monitoring large or hard-to-reach areas. Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras, thermal imaging, and night vision capabilities can patrol and inspect properties, providing real-time video feeds to security teams. This is invaluable in large commercial complexes and public spaces like parks or outdoors, where ground-level monitoring may not be sufficient.

Drones also play a crucial role in event security. During public events or gatherings, drones can provide an overhead view, helping security personnel monitor crowd movement and detect any abnormal or potentially dangerous activities. This aerial surveillance capability allows for a swift response to any security threats, ensuring the safety of attendees.

Enhancing Response to Emergencies

Drones are not only beneficial for routine surveillance but also in emergency situations. In scenarios like fires or natural disasters, drones can be deployed quickly to assess the situation, identify safe routes for evacuation, and locate individuals who may be trapped or injured. This rapid response capability can significantly aid in minimising harm and coordinating rescue efforts.

Future Potential in Physical Security

Looking towards the future, the potential applications of drones in physical security are vast. One of the most promising developments is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with drone technology. AI-powered drones can autonomously patrol designated areas, analyse footage in real-time to identify potential security threats, and even predict possible breach points based on historical data.

Another emerging concept is the use of drone swarms – groups of drones operating together, controlled by a single operator or autonomously through AI. These swarms could provide comprehensive surveillance over a larger area, offering a more robust security solution than single drones.

Challenges and Considerations

While drones present numerous opportunities for enhancing physical security, there are challenges and considerations. Privacy concerns are paramount, especially when drones are used in public spaces. It is crucial to ensure that drone operations comply with privacy laws and respect individual rights. Additionally, there are logistical challenges, including the need for skilled operators, battery life limitations, and the requirement to adhere to aviation regulations.

Drone technology is rapidly becoming an indispensable tool for physical security professionals in the UK. Its capabilities in surveillance, emergency response, and the potential integration with AI position it as a transformative element in the field of security. As technology advances and regulatory frameworks evolve, drones are set to play an increasingly significant role in keeping commercial and public properties secure, now and in the future.

Are you assessing the potential of drones for your organisation’ security needs? The Total Security Summit can help!

Photo by Adedotun Adegborioye on Unsplash

Guest Blog: Sarah Adams – Why preventing cybercrime is only half the battle

399 226 Stuart O'Brien

Sarah Adams, cyber risk specialist at business insurance broker PolicyBee, discusses how the world of online opportunities extends to that of cyber criminals, and what to do to stop it in its tracks.

Sarah Adam Cyber from PolicyBee

Protecting your business against a cyber-attack is, of course, completely sensible. Problem is, increasingly sophisticated hackers are finding new ways to get through even the most robust security measures.

Any business that uses the internet – and that’s pretty much every business – can fall victim to a cyber-attack. Yes, even those that have taken steps to increase their internet security and protect their systems against spyware, malware, ransomware are susceptible.

The truth is that cyber criminals don’t care what a business actually does. While large businesses can start pound-signs flashing in the eyes of salivating hackers, small businesses are (easy) targets too.

Cyber criminals don’t discriminate, and they don’t give up. Even with the best will in the world and the most stringent of IT security procedures in place, a savvy thief will always find a way through.

The consequences of this tenacity can be far-reaching; both for the businesses that fall victim, and for their clients. Money, time, reputation and future income are all at stake, with costs for managing reputational damage, legal or regulatory costs often proving to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

According to the Cabinet Office, ‘fixing’ just one security breach can cost upwards of £15,000 for small businesses and up to £250,000 for larger businesses, and that’s only one piece of the jigsaw that will need to be put back together.

Costs of identifying and fixing the problem, replacing damaged software and hardware, hiring specialist IT security consultants, hiring a PR firm to manage a damaged reputation, and hiring a solicitor to deal with clients who’ve had their own business compromised as a result of cybercrime, can spiral into the many thousands.

Cyber insurance is specifically designed to protect businesses from all of the above and more. It can cover the cost of repairing systems or websites, cover the costs of using temporary equipment to help with business continuity, compensate those irate clients, as well as cover the often-overlooked reputation management costs.

Getting back to business as quickly as possible should be number one on the agenda of a cybercrime victim, yet it’s worrying that so many businesses still see this type of protection as a ‘nice to have’, and not a ‘need to have’.

Today’s world is uber-connected, and it’s not just the humble office server proving to be a liability in 2017. Mobile technology enables staff to work from pretty much anywhere in the world, social media enables them to speak to pretty much anyone in the world, and even home appliances have been given the digital treatment – enabling them to access Wi-Fi and mobile networks at the click of a button.

All of these devices equal more opportunities for professional cyber criminals and unscrupulous hackers to get stuck in. How many businesses are confident enough to say they have all these angles covered?

It’s worth noting though, that not all cyber insurance policies are created equal. Businesses should take care check that their cover includes extra things like forensic investigations, legal advice, notifying customers or regulators, and offering support to any affected customers too, on top of compensation for loss of income.

With proper risk management and a little foresight, businesses can protect their businesses from cybercrime fallout for less than the cost of treating their staff to lunch once a month. Not investing in cyber insurance therefore is not only incomprehensible, but plain bad business.

For more info visit www.policybee.co.uk/cyber-insurance