Thursday, November 10, 2016

Unmanned drone use could increase cyberattacks

AT&T and NASA are researching the development of an Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management solution that would support the safe and highly secure operation of drones in the national airspace.

AT&T has been working with NASA and other companies to make UAS flight path monitoring, flight planning, navigation, surveillance and tracking safer. “We have focused on the role of wireless networking and advanced technologies,” the company said in a press release.

AT&T brings expertise in networking, Internet of Things, cloud, identity management and cybersecurity to the effort.

Drones are already used in agriculture, public safety, construction, utilities, real estate and TV. AT&T uses drones to inspect cell towers and measure network performance at venues and locations across the country.

A key element AT&T and NASA are researching is the potential impact of cybersecurity threats. The vast availability of drones - and their many current and potential uses -- could increase their risk of cyberattacks. AT&T advocates cybersecurity protections designed into the system from the outset.

Chris Penrose, president of AT&T's Internet of Things Solutions, was selected as a member of the FAA's Drone Advisory Committee earlier this year. The group identifies and advises actions to support the safe introduction of UAS into our national airspace.

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