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drones

DRONE SECURITY MONTH: Navigating airspace full of threats and opportunities

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Drone technology presents both unique opportunities and novel threats in the world of physical security. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have altered the security landscape, necessitating a re-evaluation of traditional security measures. This article explores the dual nature of drones in the realm of commercial physical security, examining both the risks they pose and the advantages they offer, based on input for attendees at the Total Security Summit…

Opportunities Presented by Drones

1. Enhanced Surveillance Capabilities Drones offer a significant enhancement in surveillance capabilities. Equipped with high-resolution cameras, thermal imaging, and night-vision technology, drones provide a comprehensive view of large areas, which is particularly advantageous for monitoring expansive commercial properties. They can quickly cover areas that are challenging and time-consuming for ground patrols, making them an efficient tool for security surveillance.

2. Cost-Effective Monitoring Deploying drones for security purposes can be more cost-effective compared to traditional methods. They reduce the need for extensive manpower and can cover more ground in less time, providing a cost-efficient solution for large-scale surveillance.

3. Improved Emergency Response In emergency situations, drones can be invaluable. They can be rapidly deployed to assess situations from a safe distance, providing real-time data to security teams. This information is crucial for formulating an effective response to incidents like trespassing, theft, or vandalism.

Threats Posed by Drones

1. Privacy Infringements One of the primary concerns associated with drones is the potential for privacy infringement. Unauthorized drones can capture sensitive information, leading to privacy violations. This is particularly pertinent in settings where confidentiality is paramount, such as in businesses handling sensitive data.

2. Security Breaches Drones also pose a direct threat to physical security. They can be used to conduct illicit surveillance, gather intelligence on security measures, or even deliver contraband into restricted areas. This new dimension of threat requires security professionals to rethink and upgrade their defensive strategies.

3. Regulatory and Safety Challenges The commercial use of drones in security comes with regulatory challenges. Navigating the legal landscape, including adherence to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority regulations, is essential but can be complex. Additionally, there are safety concerns, particularly in crowded urban areas, where a drone malfunction could cause harm to people or property.

4. Need for Specialised Skills Implementing drone technology in security operations requires specialized skills and training. Security personnel need to be trained not only in operating drones but also in analyzing the data collected. This necessitates additional investment in training and equipment.

Conclusion

Drones are reshaping the field of commercial physical security, offering enhanced surveillance capabilities and more efficient monitoring solutions. However, they also introduce new risks such as privacy breaches and security challenges. For the commercial security sector in the UK, embracing the opportunities presented by drones while mitigating their threats will require a careful balance of innovation, strategy, and adherence to regulatory standards. As drone technology continues to advance, its role in commercial security is set to grow, making its integration and management a key focus for security professionals.

Are you researching drone security solutions for your organisation? The Total Security Summit can help!

Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

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.

Conclusion

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

Do you specialise in Drone Security? We want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on Security Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the security market – and in December we’ll be focussing on Drones.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help security buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Drone solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Macy Townsend on m.townsend@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our full features list:

Dec – Drones
Jan 24 – Access Control
Feb 24 – Business Continuity & Risk Management
Mar 24 – Fire Solutions
Apr 24 – Lone Worker Security
May 24 – Perimeter
Jun 24 – SIA Security Training
Jul 24 – Transit, Screening & Scanning
Aug 24 – Biometrics
Sep 24 – IP/IT Security
Oct 24 – CCTV
Nov 24- Loss Prevention Solutions

Military drone market will surge to $17 billion by 2027

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The military drone market is projected to grow from $12 billion in 2022 to $17 billion by 2027, representing a CAGR of 7.3% over the duration of the forecast period.

Research analysts MarketsandMarkets attribute the growth to surging investment in development and procurement of modern military solution to enhance defence forces capabilities.

Moreover, the increasing incidences of piracy and island grabbing in Central Asia, South America, East Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and West Africa have led to increased maritime patrolling and anti-piracy operations in these regions.

This, in turn, has led to the increased use of UAVs to carry out maritime patrolling to identify hot spots. UAVs can recognize and observe suspicious ships and safeguard routes that are of commercial importance by providing vital real-time information to concerned agencies in an effective manner.

Based on propulsion, the military drone market has been classified into engine, piston engine, and battery. The battery segment includes military drones which are operated on lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells, and hybrid cells. The battery segment is anticipated to record the highest growth rate during the forecast period, with many short-range and medium-range drones adopting batteries besides the small drones.

Battery or electrically-powered military drones use batteries to store energy and power electric motors. These drones are easy to operate and emit lesser noise as compared to turbo engine drones. However, lithium-ion batteries used in military drones need to be recharged once the charge is depleted; the process of recharging consumes a substantial amount of time. In contrast, fuel-powered military drones can be refueled at a quick pace. Hydrogen-powered military drones offer the benefit of electric propulsion, thereby enabling military drones to fly for long durations.

Based on speed, military drone market has been segmented into subsonic and supersonic. The subsonic segment has been further divided into <100 Km/hr, 100–300 Km/hr, and >300 Km/hr. The subsonic segment contributed to the majority share of the market as currently, most military drones operate at conventional subsonic speeds. Drones with a speed of less than 100 km/hr generally include small ISR drones and some close-range drones.

The growing demand for small drone platforms is set to boost the growth of the <100 km/hr segment. Moreover, drones with a subsonic speed ranging from 100–300 km/hr are generally medium endurance, low to medium range drones such as close range, short range, medium range, and tactical drones.

The increasing use of tactical drones for ISR applications is set to boost the growth of the 100–300 km/hr segment. Furthermore, drones with a more than 300 km/hr subsonic speed are high endurance, medium to long range, high-speed drones. The growing demand for armed drones such as lethal drones and target drones is set to boost the growth of the >300 km/hr segment.

The report says China, Malaysia, South Korea, and India heavily invest in military drone development projects. India imports a significant amount of military solutions from North America and Europe. Besides, China is a technologically advanced country with one of the biggest technology manufacturing industries. The country is known worldwide for its speed and efficiency, which are the major focal points for drone manufacturers.

Some well-known military drone, payload, and drone component manufacturing companies in China are Autel Robotics, China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, Chengdu Rainpoo Technology Co., Ltd. Sichuan, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), and China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

There are different research teams in China working on launching military drones. New technologies create new products and new processes. Apart from improving quality, technological advancements can also help reduce costs. Advancements in technology and increasing adoption of technologies to improve defense operations will result in the growth of the military drone market.

Do you specialise in Drone Security? We want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien
Each month on Security Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the security market – and in December we’ll be focussing on Drone Solutions. It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help security buyers find the best products and services available today. So, if you’re a supplier of Drone solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Clair Wyld on c.wyld@forumevents.co.uk. Here’s our full features list: Dec – Drones Jan – Access Control Feb – Business Continuity & Risk Management Mar – Fire Solutions Apr – Lone Worker Security May – Perimeter Jun – SIA Security Training Jul – Transit, Screening & Scanning Aug – Biometrics Sep – IP/IT Security Oct – CCTV Nov – Loss Prevention Solutions Dec – Drones

Do you specialise in Security Drones? We want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on Security Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the security market – and in December we’ll be focussing on Drones Solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help security buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Drones and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Ian Jefferies on i.jefferies@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our full features list:

Dec – Drones
Jan – Access Control
Feb – Business Continuity & Risk Management
Mar – Fire Solutions
Apr – Lone Worker Security
May – Perimeter
June – SIA Security Training
July – Transit, Screening & Scanning
Aug – Biometrics
Sept – IP/IT Security
Oct – CCTV
Nov – Loss Prevention Solutions
Dec – Drones

Why autonomous drones are now crucial to business continuity

960 640 Guest Blog

By Illy Gruber, Vice President of Marketing at Percepto

For companies that remain active and those that have temporarily shut down in light of the Coronavirus crisis, autonomous technology is playing a significant and growing role in maintaining business continuity.

Business continuity refers to how organizations can maintain or resume business functions quickly in the face of major disruptions – like, you guessed it, a pandemic. These plans, which companies spend years developing and tweaking, generally contain specific procedures and instructions that organizations need to follow as regards to infrastructure, maintenance, security, business partners, human resources, and more.

Until now, most organizations had created business continuity plans – and shelved them. Now, all of a sudden, we’re seeing the majority of SMEs, SMBs and enterprises actually implement such plans. The theory looks much different in practice, and I’m sure that companies will yet be significantly revising their plans when life returns to whatever the new normal looks like.

At Percepto, we’re seeing more and more of our customers and prospective customers turning to autonomous drones and other remote autonomous and robotic solutions to ensure business continuity. In fact, some of our customers have actually defined their autonomous drone systems as critical assets that must be kept operational under their business continuity plans.

Here’s how we’re seeing companies use autonomous drones to facilitate business continuity in the face of the Coronavirus crisis.

Security

We have a number of large industrial clients that have been forced to suspend operations owing to the pandemic. Yet at the same time, these companies own large facilities containing valuable assets that need to be actively secured – operational or not.

These companies are using autonomous drones to maintain the same high level of facility security as previously, with far less manpower. This is important not only from a worker safety point of view, but also (regrettably) owing to the massive layoffs many companies are experiencing.

Elsewhere, a large wholesale chain is using our drone technology to more tightly secure stockpiled inventory in the face of surging demand, and amid concerns about civil unrest.

Maintenance

Large industrial and critical infrastructure facilities require massive ongoing maintenance. Whether this maintenance is intended to keep facilities operational (in the case of critical infrastructure) or ensure that they can quickly spin back up after the crisis (in the case of non-essential industry) – ongoing maintenance remains mission-critical.

By way of example, some of the world’s largest mining concerns halted production – notably Peru and Chile’s copper mines, which account together for some 12% of global copper production. These companies have a highly distributed and massive geographic presence, with multiple remote sites packed with complex refining infrastructure that needs ongoing monitoring and at least a minimal level of maintenance. Even in normal times, effective preventative maintenance is a challenge. And when manpower is nearly non-existent owing to governmental restrictions?

We’re seeing the same trend in critical infrastructure – water, powerportsoil & gas, and numerous other sectors. Workers are unable to get to work owing to travel restrictions or illness – yet electricity, water, goods and oil need to keep flowing, especially with large portions of the population stuck at home. Our autonomous drones are facilitating ongoing maintenance and operations for such large scale, critical infrastructure sites.

The Bottom Line

Business continuity is not just a matter of profit these days. In many sectors – both critical infrastructure and commercial – it’s a matter of life and death. We’re seeing an uptick in usage of autonomous drones, both in volume and variety of missions, to facilitate business continuity. And as this wave of COVID-19 subsides, and companies prepare for a possible second wave or future, similar crisis – autonomous drones will be part of more and more contingency plans.

Autonomous technology can mitigate the Business security impact of Coronavirus

960 640 Guest Blog

By Ariel Avitan, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer at Percepto

The coronavirus has exposed the soft underbelly of critical infrastructure and industrial sites worldwide – workforce availability. As more and more companies implement business continuity plans to deal with the outbreak, fewer and fewer employees are able to fully function. When facilities don’t know who can and will show up for work, both planning and operations are seriously impeded. In Western Australia, for example, the coronavirus is potentially affecting some 60,000 fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers at remote mine sites and onshore and offshore oil and gas plants.

And this challenge is compounded by a flagging demand for commodities – oil, natural gas, ore, and other resources – as global industries and economies slow down or even grind to a halt. Given the ongoing price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and the resulting price drops – the oil industry is particularly hard-hit, with companies bracing for lower revenues, diminished investment, and even large-scale layoffs.

Thus, even as companies are unable to produce at full capacity, they are also unable to sell at full capacity – leading many to take a much closer look at current and future operational expenses and efficiency.

This is leading many companies to rethink the role that autonomous technology – and specifically autonomous drones – can and should be playing in their operations.

Autonomous Drones: A Quarantine-Proof Team Member

Large industrial sites are high-value assets that require constant maintenance and monitoring – independent of both production volumes and market conditions. Even when production is slowed or stopped, and when maintenance personnel are unable to function or even show up at work – critical components still need to be closely monitored, security perimeters need to be maintained, and scheduled maintenance needs to be conducted. The alternative to such monitoring and maintenance can be not only costly but also deadly.

Autonomous drones are an essential part of the contingency plans that support business continuity. Drones are always available, even if operators are under quarantine, and can help alleviate the challenges associated with volatile market trends and workforce availability. 

Multi-mission autonomous drones can conduct security, safety and inspection missions – and be quickly and flexibly re-tasked to meet changing operational demands. This makes them a force multiplier – since a single person operating autonomous drones can replace multiple security, safety and inspection employees. 

Moreover, autonomous drones can be controlled remotely, from anywhere in the world. This means that – as long as companies have suitable regulatory permits – employees can work from home, yet operate autonomous drones as if they were on site. 

Finally, even when a near-pandemic is not sweeping the globe – multi-mission, on-site autonomous drones have been proven to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs. By delivering consistent visual asset monitoring, autonomous drones provide true data-driven maintenance, which according to one study can result in up to 45% less downtime and up to 60% greater output or production. Without costly human pilots, autonomous drones provide a massive boost to existing efforts to improve preventative maintenance and reduce unexpected downtime – which can dramatically affect the bottom line in the best of times and help organizations better deal with the loss of revenues in the worst.

The Bottom Line

Although coronavirus will not, thankfully, be the new normal – it should be a business continuity wake up call. To adapt to the fluctuations of a truly global marketplace, companies need to prepare for all contingencies – including those where human employees cannot fulfill their roles on-site. Investment in autonomous technology today can help critical infrastructure and industrial companies smooth operational and financial bumps in the road both today and in the future.

Do you specialise in Drone Security? We want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on Security Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the security market – and in December we’ll be focussing on Drone Security.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help security buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Drone Security solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Ian Jefferies on i.jefferies@forumevents.co.uk.

Image by Thomas Ehrhardt from Pixabay

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