Cybersecurity for Drones: AUVSI and Fortress

AUSVI and Fortress Information Security partner to establish voluntary standards around cybersecurity for drones and other uncrewed vehicles.

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by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M Crosby

The Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and Fortress Information Security announced the launch of an industry-wide partnership concentrated on establishing an enterprise cybersecurity model and a set of voluntary standards meant to safeguard uncrewed systems and robotics against cyber risks. Leveraging Fortress’s past experience in establishing voluntary risk-based standards, AUVSI will lead an effort to achieve a consensus, set standards and promote cybersecurity policies and actions among uncrewed systems manufacturers and suppliers.

“Uncrewed vehicles – air, ground, and maritime – are relied upon for national defense, public safety, commercial delivery, critical infrastructure inspection, and more. These technologies are increasingly part of the economic foundation for nations across the globe,” said AUSVI’s Executive VP of Government & Public Affairs, Michael Robbins. “A cyber-secure foundation built on universal industry standards among industry stakeholders and suppliers will help to ensure the economic and operational potential of uncrewed vehicles is reached.”

AUVSI is also forming an industry Working Group to clarify the value of its efforts to the industry and to guarantee that its cyber risk mitigation tools are intuitive. This group is to be made up of experts from AUVSI member organizations, who will collaborate with Fortress on the development of the cybersecurity framework, which they intend to complete in under a year.

“The proactive development of industry standards makes products and services more secure and builds trust from governments and regulators, propelling innovation to new heights,” said Fortress VP of Strategy and Policy Tobias Whitney. “We look forward to partnering with AUVSI in a collaborative effort to make the uncrewed vehicle industry – manufacturers, vendors, and suppliers – resilient and cyber secure.”

A survey of 911 Americans conducted last week by Fortress and AUVSI found that a majority of US consumers believe that cyber attacks on uncrewed vehicles would be “a big deal,” though most believe an attack should not prevent the vehicles from being used.

Survey results found that:

  • 69% find it important that the uncrewed vehicle industry coordinate and share cybersecurity data;
  • 76% believe a cyberattack on uncrewed military vehicles would be a big deal, but
  • 65% do not think an attack should suspend their use;
  • 67% think a cyber attack on a driverless delivery vehicle would be a big deal, with 70% believing an attack shouldn’t prevent their use;
  • 72% said an attack on an uncrewed first responder vehicle would be a big deal, but
  • 67% say an attack should not stop their use;
  • and 38% and 29% expect to see self-driving cars and self-driving fleet vehicles, respectively, within five years.

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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.

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