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Image: iStockphoto/marcomaccolini81

Drones and UAVs haven’t quite made the enterprise impact they initially promised, and security and privacy concerns may be the biggest reasons why. According to Rise of the Drones, a new report from ISACA, 75% or those surveyed listed security or privacy as their biggest concern regarding the use of drones in the enterprise.

Some businesses have adopted drones: Companies like DJI have been marketing certain drone models to work on oil rigs and telecommunication towers. Additionally, other drones and robots have been showing up on construction sites, but their use still isn’t widespread.

According to the ISACA report, 65% of respondents said they believed that most organizations that truly benefit from drone adoption aren’t prepared to adequately handle the security and privacy requirements. Additionally, 63% said their staff doesn’t have the proper expertise to evaluate drone security.

SEE: Global drone market to hit $11.2B by 2020, report says

This begs the question of whether or not the benefits of drone technology can outweigh the potential risks involved. At present, only 25% of respondents said that it currently does, but 48% said it will outweigh risks in the future.

“Rushing to implement drone technology without first being properly prepared can result in both a legal and financial disaster. An uncontrolled drone program can also cause significant damage to the organization’s reputation,” Albert Marcella, author of the ISACA paper, said in a press release. “However, with the right controls, policies and procedures in place, a drone program can offer significant technical and competitive advantage.”

Despite the concerns listed in the ISACA report, other research seems to point to a growing drone environment. A recent Gartner report predicts that the global drone market will hit $11.2 billion by 2020, led by the convergence of the commercial and personal drone markets.

This year alone, the Gartner report said, nearly 3 million new drones will be produced. Enterprise drones used for mapping or industrial inspection, for example, have a smaller market segment, but a higher price point, the report said.

And, while the FAA hasn’t fully regulated drones for delivery yet, companies like UPS and Amazon are still experimenting with the technology. Still, that doesn’t eliminate potential security concerns for other enterprises.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. According to a new report, 75% of enterprises list security and privacy as the biggest concern for drone use in business.
  2. Most businesses that could benefit from drones aren’t ready to handle the security challenges, or don’t have properly trained staff, the report said.
  3. Despite concerns, a recent Gartner report claims that the drone market will grow to $11.2 billion by 2020, as the commercial and personal drone markets converge.

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