What is role of PKI Infrastructure in Drone Security

Drones becoming important in our daily life. They are being used in almost every application. We usage is increasing, number of drones in air are increasing. As number of drones are increasing, risk with drones is increasing day by day. Even a small drone if misused can create havoc situation in any country.  Therefore, drone security is most important aspect for everyone.

There are various ways for drone security for benefits of our society. To enhance drone security, nowadays PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) is playing major role. Specifically, digital certificate keys from PKI infrastructure are widely being used in drone security. Digital Security with PKI is most trusted security system in information technology and other electronic products. Same is now getting used in drone operations for securing drones operations. Here are some of the important drone functions where digital certificate keys are used. 

  1. Identification It is important to have unique id for each drone. Digital certificate keys are being used to create UUID (Universally Unique Identifier) for drones. Electronic UUID helps to read the information and identify many parameters like drone manufacturer, buyer so on. 
  2. Authentication and Authorization There are various applications where drone needs to interact with cloud systems or any other systems. In such case, when drone connects to cloud-based application, authentication is important to verify right drone and then authenticate further operations. In such authentication process between drone and cloud application, digital certificate keys stored in drones and cloud are used. In such cases, public key and private key are exchanged and verified. Public key can be at cloud end and private key can be at drone end. When both keys are verified, then only authentication is successful and further operations are permitted. One of the biggest examples if NPNT (No Permission No Take-off) regulation of Indian Government. Under NPNT, every drone receives Permission Artefact i.e. Digital Permission in terms of XML file which is encrypted using digital certificates. When drone receives digital permission artefact, that is de-crypted at drone end using digital certificate. After successful decryption only, drone can take flight. 
  3. Tracking any, in fact almost every enterprise drone requires its tracking so that service operators can manage their drone operations. Tracking of drones by law-and-order agencies for social security is vital.Better tracking solution is to track drone using cloud-based application. In such case, again digital certificate keys are required to authenticate and tracking and even controlling such drones from cloud application. 
  4. Tracing if someone modifies the chassis of drone and tries to misuse it, then it can be tracked. As soon as drone is started, it will connect to cloud application using its UUID for authentication. When it applies for Permission artefact, system can identify it and trace it. 
  5. Secure Updates Digital certificate keys are used for signing firmware. When drone requests firmware update, update server sends signed firmware. Drone checks firmware signature; verifies it and then only proceeds with further update.  

By using digital keys to validate authenticity of drones and other aspects, overall drone operations can be made more secure. This ensures more utilization of drones in our industry and society.  

So, lets start securing your drone operations and our society. 

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