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Advancing Data Center Airspace Security to Protect Against Unauthorized Drones



data center airspace security google data center

Modern data centers must meet very high security standards, and drones are a new threat and challenge to existing data center airspace security programs. Drones can cross any perimeter. They are capable of identifying and following targets and can use cameras to spy on operations. A data center without knowledge of drone activity in their airspace may open a dragnet of new security issues, including:

  • Scouting existing security systems, including the number staff coming and going
  • Taking aerial images of data centers under construction, that allow to derive floorplans, IT sensitive areas and power lines
  • Identifying customers, personnel, and suppliers
  • Crashing into or destroying external technical components  
  • Interfering with detectors, compromising air conditioning/cooling systems
  • Compromising employee privacy  

For example, see how a drone captured unauthorized aerial footage of the construction site of a new Facebook data center in Texas, and in a separate video, another drone capturing footage of one of Wal-Marts most guarded data centers.

Identifying Risks and Data Center Airspace Security Flaws

A growing number of customers are asking data centers if they have counter-drone systems already in place as a standard security tool. Organizations that are building new data centers are also now integrating counter-drone technology into their site planning, understanding that the drone risks will only escalate in the future.  

Dedrone works with data centers to create an initial airspace risk assessment and determine the scope of their drone activity. Even before bringing airspace security technology, data centers can test their vulnerabilities with a white hat pilot, flying an authorized, friendly drone. 

  • Can you see what anyone with a drone can easily observe? What information can you collect on your data center, with just a drone?
  • How effective are your current procedures and protocols to respond and prevent a drone from gathering information?

Once you determine what sort of information you can gather from your drone, Dedrone can put together a risk assessment that captures unauthorized activity. DroneTracker, Dedrone’s software, provides data centers with actionable information about their drone activity, including:

  • How many drones are entering your airspace?  
  • On which days and at which times?  
  • Which types of drones are detected?  ‍

After reviewing this data, security teams can begin to identify patterns and derive conclusions that help them to put effective measures in place.

Before data centers can put together a security program to mitigate airspace risks, they first must understand if drones are entering their airspace without permission, and when these intrusions are occurring. With Dedrone technology, it is simple for data centers to extend their security systems to the lower airspace and integrate drone threat mitigation into standard security protocols.

Featured image: © Google Data Center - The Dalles, Oregon by Tony Webster. License: CC BY 2.0


September 10, 2020

| Updated

April 25, 2023

About the author

The Dedrone Marketing Team is responsible for sharing drone defense news, updates, and solutions with organizations around the world.

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