In 2020, drones will stop being a novel technology and become commonplace business tools. Today, commercial drones are already being employed to monitor construction projects in real time and remotely inspect sites and cargo. By 2025, the drone market share is expected to have grown by 13.70%. As with technologies like GPS and Wi-Fi, we will eventually learn to live with drones in the background — as if they’ve always been there.
But with the rise of this new technology come new threats. Once drones become ubiquitous, it makes sense for opportunists to launch attacks using drones. And while these kinds of attacks have only been previously used for research purposes, it’s not long before they are carried out like regular cyberattacks.
How can drones attack your business?
Drones can be controlled from up to 5 miles away, making them the perfect instruments for launching attacks within that radius. They can be parked on rooftops, window ledges, and other places not easily accessible by humans. And from these strategic yet surreptitious locations, they can do the following:
- Drones can pose as rogue Wi-Fi access points. They can even force everyone within the area to connect to it. This enables them to access credentials and intercept or tamper with data; these are known as man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks.
- They can perform network reconnaissance or a survey of a network’s vulnerable points. Insights gained from this survey can then be used to commence a successful attack on the network.
- They can exploit wireless connections such as Bluetooth and ZigBee by overriding their commands. And because the Internet of Things (IoT) usually uses ZigBee technology, drones can use it as a gateway to launch wide-scale attacks that involve every device connected in the IoT.
- Drone-enabled network attacks — even as early as now — can already cause extreme damage to businesses. And as drone technology matures, it only becomes more sophisticated and more difficult to combat.
How do we mitigate drone attacks?
Companies must recognize that the drone threat is real, and that their air surfaces can be used as points of attack. All devices in open spaces or near windows are particularly vulnerable. By following these security tips, you can lower the chances of drones hijacking your systems:
- Not all drones are harmful. Consider using drone detection devices like DroneShield to identify drones and alert security to their presence.
- Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) should consider turning off their wireless network when not in use. Updating router passwords regularly, encrypting files, and setting up firewalls can also reduce the potential for attacks using drones.
- High-risk organizations, like those in the health and security industry, can invest in defense systems that disrupt a drone’s flight path.
Protect your business against malware
Drones are but one way for malware to enter your network systems. And with thousands of new malware created every day, you can never take the backseat when it comes to protecting your business. If hackers can hijack the computer systems of 22 Texas towns and demand ransom, then SMB owners should be extra vigilant. More so because in 2019, three out of five malware attacks were directed toward small businesses.
If you’re running an SMB in Farmington, Durango, Las Cruces, or Albuquerque, then our free eBook can help you thwart cyberattacks. “A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Malware” explains how you can strategically plan and budget for online attacks. Download the eBook now.
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