Drone threat rising ever higher in Latvia

Drones - unmanned aerial vehicles - pose an increasing challenge to the security of critical infrastructure in Latvia, so the regulatory framework in this area needs to be improved, the State Security Service told the LETA newswire June 9.

Last week the government reviewed a report on critical infrastructure protection in Latvia during the preceding year. Critical infrastructure includes facilities, systems and parts thereof that are essential for the functioning of Latvia's society and economy and implementation of state functions, ranging from power plants to the government building.

All three national security authorities in Latvia supervise critical infrastructure protection, the Security Service told LETA.

The Security Service conducted 41 critical infrastructure inspections last year, and at eighteen critical infrastructure facilities recommendations had to be provided in order to improve their protection. The recommendations mostly dealt with improving internal security procedures, security coordination, and security systems. In addition, work is under way to educate facility personnel about the risks of terrorism and counter-intelligence.

No serious security incidents that might threaten the functioning of critical infrastructure facilities were identified last year. Most incidents involved unauthorized filming and photographing of the facilities.

Drones used above or in the immediate vicinity of critical infrastructure facilities present an increasing challenge to critical infrastructure protection. Therefore the regulatory framework on use of unmanned aerial vehicles is of particular importance, and the Civil Aviation Agency is currently working on the issue, explained the Security Service.

Another important challenge is transport infrastructure protection and security at large public events.

The Security Service will continue to inspect critical infrastructure sites and assess security measures there. The service will also organize training for security personnel at critical infrastructure facilities, LETA reported.

However it's not all negative news as far as drones are concerned. Latvia also boasts some leading drone innovators.

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