Parrot and WISeKey aim to set global data protection standards

French drone manufacturer Parrot has partnered with digital security specialist WISeKey to reinforce protection of data collected and transmitted by Parrot craft. As part of that, the pair will also work toward a more ambitious goal of hardware and communication system protection of data that may serve as the basis for global security standards for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

Anticipation drone ID requirements

The partnership seeks to improve and standardize data protection in UAV across the board. Its first practical objective is to ensure security of drones and their users when identification of craft becomes mandatory. For those transmissions, Parrot and WISeKey will create features for UAV and controlling systems to assure that drone ID information itself is trustworthy – yet also accessible only to authorized recipients. 

The project also aims to further tighten protection of data UAVs gather and owners of that information alike. Both risking becoming vulnerable to intrusion as more exacting regulations on communicating drone ID and deployment information come on line. With the commercial drone market expected to surge from its current $4 billion value to $40 billion by 2025, notes a Parrot-WISeKey statement, safeguarding data collected by UAV is becoming increasingly critical.

Public safety, security, defense, and inspection professionals represent a growing share of drone users who demand the highest levels of privacy, encryption, and security for their flights. Supply chain partners, citizens, and authorities need to trust drone operation, whether it is about payload transport in urban areas or operation above industrial or nuclear facilities… (T)he latest regulation makes it mandatory for both recreational and professional drones to be remotely identifiable and traceable by authorities. However, the required cybersecurity standards for these communications have not yet been defined.

Data security now a top UAV user priority

The partners believe they have a head start on ensuring their products provide maximal security. Parrot says its  ANAFI drones already offer cutting-edge security in craft designed to collect valuable data for owners. Additional protections can be added on, meanwhile, in function of the sensitivity of missions flown. 

The company says that will now be further enhanced by incorporating WISeKey’s certified digital security technologies. Those applications, Parrot notes, can be added along the entire data chain – from inflight control systems down to infrastructure.

“As drone use continues to climb exponentially within the professional sector, Parrot understands the immense need for cutting edge cybersecurity standards,” says Victor Vuillard, Parrot’s chief security officer and CTO cybersecurity. “We believe this new dimension of our partnership with WISeKey, our security partner, will contribute to deliver peace of mind to all stakeholders whether it is our users, their clients, or public authorities.”

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