Fortifying offshore facilities: strategies to safeguard against negligent or malicious drone incursionsAugust 15th, 2023
The world’s critical infrastructure has always been a hot commodity as its facilities drive the production of what's needed to maintain everyday life, making it a prime target for cyberattacks and physical attacks. But what about the threats coming from above? In recent years, drones have become increasingly affordable and accessible, empowering individuals with new capabilities and increasing the risk of incidents occurring at secure facilities.
Understanding the threat
While drones offer countless advantages, they can also be misused, posing risks to critical infrastructure. Negligent drone operators can unintentionally breach airspace restrictions and jeopardize the safety of offshore facilities. Malicious actors may also exploit drones to conduct surveillance, such as corporate espionage, or, in extreme cases, launch attacks against the facility. These threats necessitate proactive measures to protect offshore facilities and maintain the integrity of their operations. Should a negligent or malicious drone operator proceed with their flight and crash into a critical infrastructure site or drop hazardous material from above, the potential damage would impact the crews, the facility, and the surrounding community or ecosystems.
Incidents such as these have already begun to occur as restricted airspace violations happen daily. Just last year, the Norway Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) urged offshore oil and gas platforms in the area to remain highly vigilant after receiving several reports of unidentified drone activity. Not only can drones cause disruptions when they end up in protected airspace, but they may be there for a more sinister reason, like plotting a deliberate attack. Either way, leaders and on-site operators of offshore critical infrastructure must ensure they’re safeguarded from this credible and constant threat.
Read the full article on Offshore Magazine here.