CISA Is Using Drones to Help Secure Critical Infrastructure

The Homeland Security Department plans to start using drones when training government personnel and private companies to secure critical infrastructure.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is bringing on a trio of small unmanned aircraft to enhance its Infrastructure Stakeholder Security and Exercise Program, an effort meant to prepare nationwide partners for attacks on critical infrastructure. The drones will be used to capture footage of training exercises as well as simulate attacks by unmanned aircraft, according to the agency.

“Small unmanned aircraft systems provide CISA the opportunity to offer better exercises to the critical infrastructure security and resilience stakeholder community,” CISA officials wrote in a privacy impact assessment for the program. The agency purchased the drones from a U.S. manufacturer, they said, avoiding potential security and espionage concerns related to foreign-made aircraft.

By offering a literal bird’s-eye view of security exercises, drones can help participants better analyze and improve their response strategies, officials said. And as commercial drones surge in popularity, responders must be prepared to face the new threats they present.