With the news that defibrillator drones are being used to save lives before ambulances arrive, Colin Bull, Principal Consultant Manufacturing and Product Development at SQS, the software quality specialist, discussing the possibility of these devices becoming compromised by cyber criminals.
Colin is advocating the introduction of regulation around the use of drones to ensure that these devices which are intended to save lives, don’t become targets for hackers to infiltrate, reroute or even take down, potentially leading to the loss of life.
Colin Bull, Principal Consultant Manufacturing and Product Development at SQS:
“The news that drones carrying defibrillators could start saving lives by reaching people in need 16 minutes faster than emergency services may be a great step forward for rapid response medical care. However, it also highlights the need to protect vulnerable people from vulnerable, non-regulated technology. As with all connected technology, drones are at risk of falling into the wrong hands and in the race to reach patients, there is something standing in the way – cybercriminals. With the ability to reroute and even take down a potentially lifesaving drone, it is vital that measures are put in place to secure these flying machines from those with malicious intent so that they can continue on their paths to prevent potential deaths.
One such step is to ensure software programming is considered more seriously in the development phase of a drone. This will make it easier for teams to use jamming devices of rogue drones. Also, the implementation of regulations and the standardisation of radio frequencies, on which drones operate, is vital. By ensuring strict regulations are in place the use, or misuse, of drones can be better controlled.
Drones must be embraced and feared in equal measures. They might have the potential to save lives, but on closer inspection, the lack of security and regulation surrounding them is terrifying.”