Unauthorized drone detection is getting easier with software from Blackberry

A new partnership with Dedrone has led to a platform that can instantly detect and notify security personnel of drones in sensitive airspace.

Drone detection company Dedrone has partnered with Blackberry to build an instant notification system for unauthorized drone activity in sensitive airspace.

Accidents involving drones have been commonplace in recent years, with users crashing them onto the White House lawn, almost crashing into German Chancellor Angela Merkel, coming too close for comfort to news helicopters and airplanes, and otherwise being where they shouldn’t be. 

Reasons like those have led to the creation of drone-tracking and countermeasure hardware and software of the kind made by Dedrone, which is now partnering with Blackberry to add real-time alert capabilities to its platform. 

Blackberry’s contribution to the platform is its AtHoc Crisis Communications System, a mass-notification platform designed for emergencies. AtHoc is used by a variety of agencies, like the US Military, Canadian government, airports, and private companies. 

AtHoc is designed to be integrated into other platforms through its APIs and SDK, which Blackberry said Dedrone has done to create “automated, highly targeted alerts based on a range of criteria, including flight zones, drone behavior, and user groups for a more efficient, focused response to the presence of an unauthorized drone.”

Christoph Erdmann, SVP of secure communications at BlackBerry, said drones aren’t just airspace safety risks, pointing out that “drones are one of the many IoT endpoints that add to the growing chaos that security leaders must navigate.” 

Drones can be physical security risks when they record video of business or government facilities, violate personal privacy, and it’s possible that malicious drones could be used to steal data from remote IoT sensors as well. 

“When an unauthorized drone enters restricted airspace, time is of the essence. The more effectively the on-site personnel can respond, the better their chances of countering whatever the drone is there to do,” said Aaditya Devarakonda, Dedrone’s president and CBO. 

Dedrone’s software, RF sensors, radar, cameras, and signal jammers are already able to do a lot of work to stop unauthorized drones, and “BlackBerry AtHoc’s advanced alerting capabilities combined with Dedrone’s drone detection technology, enable our customers to react precisely and in time to control the situation,” Devarakonda added.

Drones have a wide variety of practical business uses, and the market for drone use in the commercial sphere is expected to continue growing, potentially topping $12 billion worldwide by 2021. 

With so many objects in the air, it’s inevitable that accidents and attacks will occur. Organizations with sensitive airspace will need to step up their IT plans to account for drones or risk security incidents, both physical and digital.

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