A Red Team Approach To Counter UAS

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Scott Crino is CEO of Red Six Solutions. Red Six Solutions is a Red Teaming company that provides their clients with a view of themselves from the perspectives of their adversaries, enemies and competition. Red Six Solutions help clients discover over-the-horizon insights into as yet, unseen threats that can confound strategic decision-making and negatively impact the successful accomplishment of organizational objectives and strategic goals.

Scott served 21 years in the U.S. Army as an Aviation and Operations Research/Systems Analysis officer in multiple combat zones holding several command and staff positions. Prior to his Red Six Solutions, Scott served as President of Crino Consulting Group and Managing Director at Teneo Holdings. He has planned and executed dozens of Red Team events for government, commercial and international clients. Scott has BS and MS degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Buffalo and Texas A&M, respectively, and a PhD in systems engineering from the University of Virginia.

Red Six Solutions is the foremost provider of UAS threat reporting and emulation for the United States government, with particular strength in the fast-growing area of sUAS aircraft and tactics.  Red Six pilots have flown against virtually every counter UAS system being used by, or being marketed to, the U.S. government.  In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Scott talks about Red Six Solutions, Red Teaming and gives us insights into the current state of counter drone solutions.

Key Points
  • Red Teaming in the drone industry is primarily about replicating the tactics, techniques, procedures, and technologies that are demonstrated by various threat groups. All for the purpose of developing effective mitigation measures.
  • Coincidentally, many of the drones that we’re buying as hobbyists and using in our backyards are the same drones that are being used by threat groups.  However, new technologies and flight components are finding their way into the mix.
  • Every group around the world has a different experience level in using sUAS for nefarious purposes. 
  • More passive drone detection systems are being put in place every day. And the prevention of emerging threats act passed in October of 2018 now allows DHS and DOJ legal authority to detect, track and even mitigate threats from sUAS at specific locations of national interest.
  • The data and policies help determine what operational capabilities are required to develop effective counter grown systems. But until we have that information, the proper system is not going to be in place.
  • They Red Team their system, looking at the strengths and weaknesses.  They fly against their systems, provide them threat reports of what’s happening globally. All for the purpose of creating a more effective counter drone capability.
  • It’s one vendor’s radar and someone else’s radio frequency sensor and someone else’s camera. It’s kind of piecemeal at this suite of technologies.
  • Red Teaming works best for those that aren’t scared to learn about themselves because it’s not fun to hear when you have weaknesses or capability gaps.  You have to be really willing to open the books and allow someone to test the environment.
  • It’s not just looking at the vehicle or the technologies. it’s understanding the operating environment. It’s identifying our own vulnerabilities to understand where the threat and how the threat may attack. And what we can do to reduce the risk.
  • There are some great counter drone technologies on the market and several other super ideas, which haven’t quite matured yet, but they’re going to get there.
  • Intelligence sharing is so important to understand the migration of certain tactics from one region of the world to another or the use of a new technology in a particular area.
  • There is huge value in monitoring trends of the flight components. If they’re moving from line of sight to first person view, then to autonomously flown aircraft with larger payloads, that shows a major growth in capabilities.
  • Just because something hasn’t happened here yet doesn’t mean that it can’t happen very quickly. Effective tactics migrate very quickly from one part of the world to the other, so efforts to create effective counter measures have to continue.
  • Whether you’re a certified sUAS remote pilot in command, just a hobbyist or just interested in trying out a drone for the first time, be mindful of where and how you’re flying. The fewer careless and clueless events that occur, the more we can really focus efforts on the real threats.
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