BLOG - 15-08-2017

Aerialtronics’ commitment to drone data security


BLOGPOST - 15-08-2017

Aerialtronics’ commitment to drone data security

As data security concerns become an increasingly hot topic for the drone industry, we at Aerialtronics want to assure our current and potential future clients that we place great importance on the issue and take every step to ensure aerial data is secure and well-encrypted. This is just one of the reasons why our main customer base is from the safety and security industry (including several police forces globally) – they trust us. But, instead of just telling you to take our word for it and believe us, we want to show you. Here’s how it’s done.

There are two types of security concerns when it comes to protecting commercial drone data. The first is if the systems and communications are not encrypted heavily enough and can easily be hacked by outsiders, potentially resulting in stolen or destroyed data or drones. The second is if the manufacturer can remotely access user data, view it and share it with governments or third parties.

Data encryption

Let’s take a look at the security measures we take to ensure data is protected at every step in the collection process.

Altura Zenith

From collection to transmission, the data is protected throughout each process, starting with the encrypted digital video link, then onto the telemetry encrypted AES128 and finally the proprietary control link hopping system.

IBM Watson IoT

A common security concern that surrounds cloud-based practices is where the data is being stores and how secure it truly is. IBM Bluemix gives us the opportunity to customise how we store data, meaning we can provide custom security solutions for our users. This level of storage specification can be by country, state or even built into the infrastructure already in place by an organization. There are also steps taken for authenticating the user, encrypting the data being uploaded to the cloud, complying with a benchmark for security procedures and authorizing users and devices with access to the platform. We won’t go into detail here, as there is extensive information on the IBM Watson website that discusses the security measures in incredible detail:

Third party software

While we can assure that your data is secure within our ecosystem, as soon as the data is offloaded to any third-party programs, such as mapping or post-processing software, we cannot guarantee the same level of protection as we are not familiar with their privacy policies or the steps they take to encrypt your data. This is one of the many reasons why we are working towards processing all drone data on-board or in the cloud with IBM Watson IoT.

Data access & sharing

The Altura Zenith system architecture is designed in such a way that all collected data can only be accessed by the system operators. We, the manufacturer, do not own or store any of the data. There is no inherent vulnerability to data security in our systems due to the encryption methods used and the fact that it isn’t connected to global networks because it is not necessary for commercial operations. While the extended connectivity we offer (by converting livestream to IP and via cellular networks over LTE) can be set up with the vulnerability to be viewed by the manufacturer, our terms and conditions explicitly state that we do not access or use user data and metadata under any circumstances.

This workflow is known as privacy by design. Furthermore, by offering the customer the maximum amount of privacy and data security possible, we have taken this a step further and provide the user with privacy by default. For more information on privacy by design and privacy by default, click here.

In addition, the end-to-end data acquisition/transfer/processing environment can only be as safe as the weakest link, so when selecting our integration partners for payloads, software and hardware, we place tremendous significance on finding parties with a shared outlook and concern for security.

We offer systems to operators serving enterprises and industry customers whose security concerns are based on their own risk analysis to maintain a competitive advantage, but also from their governments’ risk analysis of vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure. This means our operators are held accountable by various parties and they’ll not only need to work with trusted suppliers, but also select more incorruptible solutions - such as ours.

For groups that have highly confidential information, such as police, military and governments, we also provide customized security solutions to take this one step further where customers can choose what level of encryption they want for their data.

As technology develops over time, the security measures will need to evolve with them. Both are interlaced and can become outdated in just a matter of months. This why our R&D team is dedicated to continuously strengthening our data protection through researching, testing and updating our security and encryptions. For instance, in the past Aerialtronics has challenged hackers to find flaws in the system and worked closely with them to define weaknesses and create solutions that ensure the highest level of data protection possible. This has led to a safer system with better security features.

Aerialtronics will continue to dedicate it’s time and efforts towards creating safe and secure technologies with the most advanced, up-to-date data protection procedures.

About Aerialtronics

Aerialtronics is an end-to-end solution developer that utilizes drones, artificial intelligence and IOT data to provide businesses with augmented and actionable insights that create a perfect synergy between aerial applications and everyday business operations.

The company provides innovative solutions for professionals across a variety of industries such as Safety & Security, Inspection, Surveying & Mapping, Agriculture and Research. They offer customizable unmanned systems that enable businesses to easily survey, inspect and analyse aerial data in real time. With a weatherproof fuselage and the widest payload and sensor compatibility on the market today, the Altura Zenith is unrivalled in its performance and capabilities.

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