Drone Proliferation – Safeguarding the Good, Countering the Bad

November 10, 2022 | Sandra Welfeld

There are thousands of drone companies today, some focused on specific vertical industry fields or sectors, others on more horizontal general commercial, hobby, or entertainment areas. Quite a few of these companies (almost half of them) focus on drone platform hardware (such as DJI and Parrot), while others supply drone software or services.

In a recent infographic, Drone Industry Insights (DRONEII) featured over 1,000 drone-focused companies from all over the world. DRONEII is a global source for data on commercial drones:

“Commercial drones are used for an increasingly vast array of things, including mapping, surveying land, inspecting infrastructures, photography & film, agriculture, warehousing, delivery, and passenger transport (among others).”


While the growth in drone adoption – especially the proliferation of hobby and consumer drones – increasingly attracts more media and market attention the number of drone incidents has also been increasing, particularly as drones become cheaper and easily accessible.  D-Fend has been tracking drone incidents around the world, showing increasing incidents across the full range of sectors, and reflecting many types of incidents, including attacks, collisions, espionage, harassment, and smuggling. The number of incidents featured in the D-Fend tracker is just the tip of the iceberg, as this information is compiled from public domain sources and information providers. There are many other drone incidents that are not made public, particularly if they involve military and special forces, national and homeland security law enforcement and more.

DRONEII’s latest infographics of drone companies was released in 2019, and this latest one is an update with 379 new companies added, with others from 2019 removed as not relevant anymore.  As they emphasized in their blog post, “these are not all the drone companies that exist in the world.” The infographic showcases different companies in the market, according to different drone application sectors, including:

  • Drone platforms
  • Agriculture
  • Delivery & cargo systems
  • Safety & security
  • Cameras, imaging & vision systems
  • Recreational
  • Flight, fleet & operation management
  • UTM services/CIS provider
  • Data analytics
  • Drone delivery services
  • Drone show providers
  • Education, simulation, training,
  • And more, much more…

DRONEII has added new drone sectors that weren’t in the 2019 diagram, reflecting how drone applications have expanded. Many rogue drone incidents involve the weaponization of a cheap and accessible ‘build or buy’ drone. Major media such as The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Financial Times have recently highlighted how cheap, commercial drones are changing warfare, making counter-drone defense more dangerous and challenging. Most recently the Russia-Ukraine war has had many examples showing how low-cost, easy to assemble commercial drones can easily become a cheap weapon of war.

In the infographic, in the hardware section, counter-drone solution companies are also presented – the breadth of counter-drone solutions points to the fact that alongside the benefits that drones provide, comes an associated trend of expanded risk resulting from drones being misused.

So while drones bring obvious benefits, they also bring commensurate risks. In a recent white paper (Drone Industry Barometer 2022), DRONEII highlighted  that counter-drone system segment had the strongest growth in the market over the past year, relative to drone manufacturers, service providers, and operators etc.

Drones bring enormous benefit. But innovative countermeasures must keep pace as the related dangers evolve. D-Fend Solutions stands ready with EnforceAir to always stay a drone threat ahead.

Sandra Welfeld is the Marketing Content and Communications Lead at D-Fend Solutions. A senior marketing executive with strong passion for all things content, Sandra brings vast experience in B2B marketing, while focusing on translating the “tech” into marketing, whether in blog posts, brochures, or social media.

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