Commercial drones being used for surveillance

They are here. The drones have arrived and they are likely to stay.

According to the Business Insider website, (, “The market for commercial/civilian drones will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% between 2015 and 2020…” That is a significant growth curve. The website went on to state this, ” The global commercial drone market will take shape around applications in a handful of industries: agriculture, energy, utilities, mining, construction, real estate, news media, and film production”.

What does that mean for the security industry? Are we going to be left out in the cold while drone implementation increases around us?

Security has not traditionally been considered a profit center in anyone’s business except for the security providers. Spending for commercial security often times is viewed as a necessary evil and additional security costs are often met with plenty of resistance. Can we supplement or replace traditional security personnel with video and sensor-enabled drones? Absolutely. Will it cost money? Absolutely.

What are the challenges facing this effort besides just cost? Well, how about security of the drone, its collected data, its transmitted data, its physical impact in an uncontrolled flight or crash. How are various drone systems evaluated for a commercial security effort? How do you train personnel for drone interaction? How do you navigate the legal aspects of drone coverage (not to mention insurance). How do you operationalize and automate drone functions like patrol routes, on-demand/emergency response launch to specific coordinates. How do you streamline and collect all that drone video and sensor data? How do you maintain and recharge/refuel these machines in an accurate, timely and automated fashion?

Commercial industries utilising drones

Proposing a robust drone operation for commercial security raises a lot of questions. The additional labor required to begin and support these operations will need to be addressed. Can these be turn-key systems and service sales? Will they need to be handled with drone consultants who advise businesses on the myriad of concerns to address?

I have searched the internet. There are a few businesses offering commercial drone security services, however I haven’t seen any which tout themselves as comprehensive and then back that claim up with real data. I’ve found individuals who own drones priced in the $1000.00-and-less category trying to sell their drone time to other businesses by flying drone coverage at their event or site.

Commercial drone surveillance

While the market scrambles for answers to these questions, I think we will soon see integrators who are able to deliver safe, cost-effective systems at multiple service and price levels very soon. When the developers have created products which wont need government or military support systems, we are gong to see a great new portion of our industry rise up.

If you have information or an opinion, please share it.

~ Dave Johansen

This was a guest post by Dave Johansen originally published at his website Security Veteran.

Dave’s article caught our eye as it resonates with us that far too many businesses are looking at the cost of drone security systems without a thought to the operational or logistic costs as mentioned in paragraph 4.

Realistically, there is no documentation or framework surrounding drone defense budgets, or the many components that make up such a system; we believe this may result in ‘hidden costs’ if companies are not upfront about the many resources required to start or run such an operation.

Thanks again Dave for this insightful post – we welcome readers to speak their mind and accept submissions for guest posts here.