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Cyber Risk Assessment and Scoring Model for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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Technical Report,01 May 2018,26 Mar 2020

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Air Force Institute Of Technology Wright-Patterson AFB United States

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Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAVs present small radar cross sections, low heat signatures, and carry a variety of sensors and payloads. As with many new technologies, security seems secondary. Research indicates a growth in vulnerabilities applicable to small UAV systems, from individual UAV guidance and autopilot controls to the mobile ground station devices. Even if developers strive to improve the security of small UAVs, consumers are left without meaningful insight into the hardware and software protections installed when buying these systems. To date, there is no marketed or accredited risk index for small UAVs. Building from similar domains of aircraft operation and information technologies, a cyber risk assessment methodology tailored for small UAVs is proposed and presented in this research. Through case studies of popular models and mission-environment scenarios, the assessment is shown to meet the three objectives of ease-of-use, breadth, and readability. By allowing a cyber risk assessment before acquisition, organizations will be able to accurately compare and choose the best aircraft for their mission.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Systems Management and Standards
  • Pilotless Aircraft

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