The threat from drones, know as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), is rapidly becoming a concern for security providers and their clients. Drones are an ideal tool for surveillance:
Low procurement and replacement costs
Rapidly deployable capability
Can be launched from discreet locations requiring very little real estate
Very little regulation of their sale and use
High quality downlinked or recorded camera footage with PTZ capability, providing an excellent vantage point over a 'target'
Easy to fly with very little training required
We are seeing drones used against our clients both in the UK and overseas more regularly, with the summer of 2017 in France proving particularly difficult with some sustained use targeting several of our clients.
Drones can be used by a range of hostile threats:
Criminals carrying out reconnaissance in the preparation of an attack
Hostile media trying to collect information
Casual users with a general inquisitive motive
Whatever the user threat and whether it be a security or privacy issue, drones will continue to pose a significant problem until the law across the world catches up with the threat and starts to regulate and control the use of drones. With an increasing amount of 'near misses' occurring with civilian aircraft, it is only a matter of time before there is a serious incident with an irresponsible drone pilot. It is likely that such an incident will kick-start the process of regulating and licensing drones.
In the mean time, we have taken measures to mitigate the threat to our clients posed by drone use by implementing physical and technical measures. The counter-drone market, known as Counter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (C-UAV), is rapidly becoming an essential part of any security plan. The use of frequency jamming technology has so far proved too expensive and unreliable to capture the civilian market, instead, C-UAV companies are looking at ways of physically interdicting drones as they fly, capturing them, then landing with a parachute. Leading the way in this market are a UK company called Open Works Engineering, who have developed the Skywall range of drone defence systems. We are looking to work with Open Works Engineering in the near future to procure a C-UAV suite for deployment to France this coming summer.