There have been many instances and reports of drones being used for a variety of untoward uses.
Attacks include corporate espionage, where drones are used to obtain privileged information, or hostile reconnaissance to capture images to plan a physical attack on a facility.
There are however many ways that drones can be a useful tool in the armoury of a modern day security manager.
GuarTours, where security offices patrol a building throughout the day or night, could be carried out by remotely controlled drones, operated by security officers from a control room.
Drones reduce the risk a security officer could face when undergoing a solo patrol, and could also allow the tour or patrol to be accomplished much quicker.
Drones supplementing conventional CCTV installations, assessing a situation prior to deploying a manned security patrol. This results in faster assessment and effective response by obtaining more information on the situation.
Drones fitted with 360 degree cameras provide a much greater view of what is happening on the ground compared to a fixed CCTV camera, in addition to allowing the operator to move around the scene.
Visual facial recognition technology, integrated into the camera would allow the drone to identify potential offenders from a database of known offenders.
Searching for suspicious devices
Military bomb disposal personnel have been using remotely controlled robots for years to diffuse bombs in the battlefield.
Where corporate organisations have a higher potential risk of a suspicious device being left, the drone could be flown into an area to search for suspicious devices.
This reduces risk to security staff and can provide more detailed information to emergency services.
Managing Large Events
Surveillance of large corporate estates, or outdoor event spaces where large groups of people gather are difficult to monitor using conventional CCTV installations.
Drones can however, be flown over large gatherings of people in an open space, providing a visual deterrent, to capture evidence, or to monitor behaviour of the group.
Search and Rescue
Drones can be sent into confined spaces, or flown over the edge of a building or cliff, enablingresponders to gain accurate information before sending personnel into a dangerous situation.
Information gathering could simply identify potential hazards on the scene, or to more accurately determine the predicament of the person requiring rescue.
Thermal imaging cameras mounted to drones aid in finding people in the dark, this gives responders the ability to determine the location and size of heat signatures produced by people or animals.
Whilst drone technology is becoming more mature, we still need further developments in the capacity and availability of mobile communications networks to relay the information back from the drone.
Laws still need to be defined and refined on the safe use of drones to reduce the risk to commercial aviation and to protect people’s rights to privacy.
Drones could quite quickly become a regular sight in our everyday lives, and provide an effective supplement to an organisations’ physical security strategy.
Have you already considered the use of drones in your organisation? Let me know in the comments below!