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Flying computers – is your data safe?

The number of drones in the sky is approaching 22 million.

Endurance, range and ability to carry larger payloads continue to increase.

Meanwhile, their prices decrease – considered to be ‘the poor man’s weapon’ by terrorists outmatched by their targets.

Even a simple hobby drone armed with explosives can pose a significant danger.

It’s hardly surprising. Just a few years ago the air was reserved for the elite few.

Only those with enemies who were members of NATO had to look to the sky for the threat of attack.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Of course, not every drone pilot has the intent to spy into your back garden, or strap on explosives and fly into high-value targets.

Whilst we shouldn’t consider every drone a threat, we should consider how these can be misused, and identify appropriate defences.

For cars, we put speed cameras, bollards and traffic calming measures in place. Equally, we need to prepare for those who may not obey the agreed rules surrounding drones.

Where there’s a new technology, there’s those who will exploit it to their own means.

And it isn’t just threat of physical attack…

Drones can have a devastating effect on your data centres too.

Drones are fast becoming an essential part of a hacker’s toolkit.

The development of sophisticated technology means that it’s now possible for them to function as flying computers. They can be custom built for spying and infiltrating a network, hacking into the hardware of your cameras and detectors to gain access.

Drones can get into places that larger devices, or people, can’t. They can do so unnoticed with many data centres having no counter drone security measures in place – the threat didn’t exist when the current measures were put in place.

Not quite your everyday hobby drones, some are specially designed with ill-intent. Some can even see through walls.

Malfunctions and server failures, financial damages, data loss and hacking – all these can be caused by a drone.

The physical infrastructure of data centres presents many opportunities for a determined and well-prepared drone operator.

Cooling machines, navigation systems, ventilation equipment and power supplies situated on deck are all vulnerable from an attack from above, even if placed in a protected area.

Drones can also deploy electrical or EMP assaults on technical components. This disrupts essential monitoring systems and interfere with the smooth running of your data processes.

With ‘sniffing tools’ drones can monitor your communications and record the movements of everyone on board. Collecting and analysing images and audio to identify potential weaknesses and prepare targeted attacks. A thermal camera attached to a drone can easily map the layout of your vessel from the air.

These emerging aerial threats need sophisticated security equipment to protect high-value data systems. Counter drone technology is becoming popular with businesses and individuals who value safety and privacy.

M.A.D.S™ can detect and identify drones within a 5km range, providing GPS positioning of both drone and pilot together with the drone’s speed and heading.

It also creates a 500m electronic ‘exclusion zone’ around vessels, disrupting the drone’s operation and forcing it to land or return to its base. It’s a silent, constant aerial guardian that protects your data and provides valuable peace of mind.

If you have any questions about counter drone technology or how M.A.D.S™ can help keep your data safe, please get in touch.

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