Opinion piece: Risk, regulation and resilience in countering drones

Opinion piece: Risk, regulation and resilience in countering drones

In this exclusive opinion piece, the researchers behind the ‘Red Teaming Report’ on ‘The Nefarious, Criminal and Terrorist Use of Drones’, Professor David Dunn and Dr Christopher Wyatt from the University of Birmingham, explore the challenges surrounding countering drones in the civilian space

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Leaders of this year’s Countering Drones Conference workshop on ‘Helping security professionals understand risk, regulation and resilience to counter the accidental or unlawful misuse of drones’, they delve here into the three main themes that will be the core focus of the day: risk, regulation and resilience

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  • The challenges surrounding current risk management systems
  • The necessity for regulation to act as a deterrent and bring liability to the different types of drone users
  • The need for resilience to be built in infrastructure, for prevention and to combat specific threats

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RISK is normally considered to be made up of three factors: firstly, the likelihood, or probability, of an event taking place, the second is the impact that event may have, and the third is the appetite to take on that risk. Of these, the factor that gets most attention is probability. The reason for this is that it is considered easiest to affect, in part because impact is inherent in the degree of risk and there would generally be no appetite for taking on a large risk.

REGULATION - Our research into regulation has shown that it functions in two broad ways that need to be differentiated. These are: as a regulatory mechanism and regulation as a screening mechanism.

RESILIENCE - Our research on resilience has led us to see it in three ways. These are: prevention, infrastructure, and specific threats. […] In our view, swarms are going to form the most import single development in drone technology. As a factor, having more and smaller units is going to make so many tasks easier to carry out, whether it is surveying, in agriculture, or in the military.

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