Taking a Stand: Cape Launches Preferred Partner Program Amidst Increasing Security Concerns Around Chinese-Made Drones

Mavic2 Enterprise by DJI

Mavic2 Enterprise by DJI

On May 20, 2019, shortly following the recent ban of networking equipment from Chinese tech giant, Huawei, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an alert warning American businesses of China’s ability to potentially steal data from Chinese-manufatured drones. 

Commercial drones have been widely adopted by many industries -- public safety agencies use them for emergency response, oil and gas companies use them to inspect pipelines, and utilities companies use them to detect faulty transmission lines before disaster strikes, for example.  But during a recent Senate the Department of Homeland Security Commerce security subcommittee hearing, members and participating experts echoed warnings that all industries -- and even U.S. national security -- faces risks when using Chinese-manufatured drones, specifically. Vulnerabilities include the possibility of confidential information being stolen, and the drones compromising data and sharing information on proprietary networks and servers beyond those of the companies operating the drones.

"The Communist Party of China now has in their law the ability to interfere and take information from virtually every Chinese company," said Senator Mark Warner. "And as long as that exists, that provides a whole set of vulnerabilities I think American business has to consider on a going-forward basis."

Moving Forward: Cape P3

Since Cape’s founding, we’ve been focused on the development of software aimed at bringing drones into the mainstream. Security has been at the core of our software, and a commitment that we are unwilling to compromise on. As a result, Cape has established its Preferred Partner Program (P3) to create a process for ensuring secure integration of Cape Aerial Telepresence software with trusted drone hardware manufacturers and enterprise application developers. This investment is developing an ecosystem of leading technology companies who want to bring customers drone aerial intelligence with the required security to protect user data and privacy. With the launch of P3, Cape will allow for integration exclusively with hardware and enterprise applications from U.S. companies or companies from countries with intellectual property treaties with the U.S., which currently excludes China. 

Skydio: A Partner for the Future

Skydio, the world leader in creating drone systems that combine artificial intelligence, computer vision, and advanced robotics, is the first official P3 participant. The fellow California-based company will collaborate with Cape on next generation drone technology that is easier to use and more capable than ever before, enabling secure, intelligent, cost-effective remote drone operations for government organizations and enterprises across industries. 

Today’s businesses continue to turn to drones to help maximize workforces, improve efficiencies and enable smarter, data-driven decisions -- and safety and security remains at the top of the technology requirements list. With the combination of Skydio’s advanced drone technology and Cape Aerial Telepresence software, companies get the highest level of drone data protection, while still benefiting from ease of use and accessibility of captured footage from existing industry-specific applications. Now, enterprises, public safety and government agencies can remotely operate drones from any location, easily capture 4K quality images and videos autonomously with best-in-class collision avoidance, and view the footage in real-time over any secure internet connection. 

At Cape, we are committed to enabling the wide scale use of drones by enterprises, while ensuring total data privacy and the safety of U.S. airspace. We are proud to be taking a stance for safer commercial drone integration, and to be working alongside one of the leading hardware manufacturers in the space to offer companies the secure, intelligent and cost-effective solutions they deserve. 

SecurityNicole Amsler