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The certification of commercial drones will help governments ensure the devices meet supply chain cybersecurity requirements.
A new certification program will help government inspectors, environmental monitors, public safety officials as well as private industry vet drones and ensure they meet federal cybersecurity requirements.
The Green UAS program was unveiled this week by Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and Fortress Information Security, a cybersecurity risk management firm with experience in standards development. The assessment program will provide a standardized cybersecurity review for commercial off-the-shelf drones to ensure the security of the supply chain that makes up their components, software and other technology.
Four Green UAS frameworks focus on risk related to corporate cyber hygiene, product and device security, remote operations and connectivity as well as supply chain management. Organizations and products are assessed and validated against security controls in each framework, according to AUVSI.
The program comes as almost every industry increasingly relies on drones in some form, including government agencies, researchers and industrial users like utilities, food and agriculture and mapping companies. But supply chain security remains a concern for drone users, especially for systems made in China whose components and software could be compromised.
Drones certified by Green UAS will meet supply chain requirements of the National Defense Authorization Act. Certification generally mirrors the Defense Innovation Unit's (DIU) Blue UAS certification program but is designed for customers that do not immediately require Department of Defense authority to operate. A list of certified drones will be displayed on the Green UAS website and DIU’s Blue UAS Hub.
The program will be the “first step for verifying the security of any uncrewed system,” Tobias Whitney, Fortress’ vice president of strategy and policy, said in a statement. Certification means cybersecurity will become a “critical criteria in the procurement process,” he added.
In an interview last year, Michael Robbins, AUVSI’s executive vice president of government & public affairs, said cyber certification will benefit state and local governments as it will give them an idea of which companies have gone through a “rigorous process” and been certified as safe. American companies that are certified may have “an advantage over a Chinese product that maybe does have some security concerns,” he said at the time.