Recently, I engaged in discussions with colleagues at the Telecom Technology Center about the pace of organizational transformation. For two decades, TTC has been instrumental in key areas such as number portability services, testing technologies and related think tanks. It has also played a pivotal role in developing Taiwan’s telecommunications industry, making major contributions in a variety of fields.

In addition, TTC has dedicated itself to cybersecurity, achieving significant results. This success has led us to consider expanding the word “Telecom” in our name to “Trusted,” which more accurately represents TTC’s core mission of delivering digital resilience for all.

A significant milestone was reached March 1 with the official establishment of the Drone Cybersecurity Joint Testing Laboratory. Assisted by the National Science Council, TTC partnered with domestic industry leaders to create this initiative, further solidifying the concept of Trusted Tech.

Drones have become essential tools, with uses ranging from agricultural surveys to disaster relief. Consequently, the government continues to develop plans for the drone industry, harnessing the combined expertise of industry, academia and research institutions to form the Taiwan Drone Alliance.

But there have been instances where drones were misused. This presents a new challenge in cybersecurity, as well as raises significant national security concerns.

In January, during the preliminary stages of the joint testing laboratory’s establishment, experts and industry representatives collaborated to announce the Drone Cybersecurity Standards. These standards encompass the core testing areas of manufacturer cybersecurity maturity, product cybersecurity and operational cybersecurity.

For instance, the manufacturer cybersecurity maturity serves as a security design blueprint, providing businesses with clear guidelines. The laboratory guarantees the safe development environment for drones by checking the development processes, supply chains, and software and hardware inventory management, ensuring safety is integrated into product features.

Product cybersecurity can be likened to a health check for drones. The laboratory acts as a center of well-being, offering varying levels of security assessments for drones. A higher level of successful testing indicates more comprehensive security measures. Apart from performing these checks, the lab also analyzes issues, providing detailed reports for businesses.

Operational cybersecurity focuses on enhancing the protection of drone operational environments. This makes sure they are not influenced by external factors, such as data transmission interference. It is akin to emphasizing thorough health checks and considering external risk factors. Maintaining a good living environment and healthy routines is essential for true well-being.

The lab also follows guidelines announced by the Taiwan Information and Communication Standards Association, employing processes like threat modeling, vulnerability detection, penetration testing and impact analysis. It further offers recommendations for improving operational cybersecurity.

Our goal is for TTC to assist the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in establishing domestic testing capabilities, as well as aligning with international cybersecurity standards. We aim to support businesses in becoming a formidable force in the global drone industry. Both the Ministry of Digital Affairs and TTC will continue to uphold the spirit of Trusted Tech, ensuring a secure and robust information and communications environment.