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Nov 11, 2016 07:00 AM EST

AT&T And NASA Pioneering Management System For Drones; Reducing Risk Of Drones As Weapons For Cyberattacks [VIDEO]


The multinational telecommunications giant AT&T and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are working together to pioneer a management system for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or commonly known as drones. Technological innovations enabled the drones to have various commercial uses, but these modern devices also bring with it cybersecurity threats for these can be used to launch cyberattacks.

The goal of AT&T and NASA is to come up with an Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) solution. This system will support the safety of drones and ensure secure operations. The solution also includes monitoring of the flight path, planning flights, navigating and ensuring a safer surveillance and tracking.

For this purpose, the collaborators need to rely heavily on wireless networking and advanced technologies, which are the expertise of AT&T. The telecom conglomerate is also a leading player in the following fields, namely, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud identity management and cybersecurity measures according to PR Newswire.

As of present, drones are used in agriculture, construction, public safety, real estate, and even on television. However, these may also be used as a means to invade privacy of individuals, perform corporate espionage, and even aid in terrorist attacks as reported in IBM Big Data and Analytics Hub.

Evidently, there is a need to strike a balance between technological advancements and cybersecurity. There have been reports indicating that drones are susceptible to hacks. Hacking is not a farfetcheed claim ever since the first backdoor for drones or MalDrone was created.

Research has indicated that only 12 percent of corporations feel secure in IoT. Clearly, cybersecurity is a primary issue that needs to be resolved, given the huge potential of drones not only for practical uses but also for unpleasant ones.

There have also been reports on drones having design flaws, which make them vulnerable to hacking. It is not the system that is unsecured but the hardware. There are no conclusive data as of yet to substantiate this rumor.

However, AT&T continues to reiterate its commitment in including cybersecurity protections into the UTM. The company along with NASA hopes to find the best solution through an efficient management system for the UAS.

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