The Dangers of Tailgating in Aerospace

Why Commercial Cleaning Service Providers Can Fall Prey

Tailgating – and we don’t mean the fun kind, such as before a football game or concert—can be a severe security threat to any business. In an aerospace facility, however, it poses great danger to our national security and even people’s lives.

Tailgating is when unauthorized individuals physically follow people with access to a facility onto the site, which can even lead to security breaches in restricted areas. It is such a major concern that Globe NewsWire estimates the market for tailgating detection systems will soar from $63.5 million in 2021 to $99.5 million by 2028.

Tailgating is sometimes referred to as piggybacking. However, some experts make a differentiation between the two. They maintain that tailgating is accidental with no consent from the party being followed, while piggybacking means the unauthorized and security-cleared individuals are in cahoots. Tailgating in any secure facility can present potential danger, but none more than one in aerospace where a breach can expose highly sensitive secret information, jeopardizing our national security and putting people’s lives at risk.

Tailgating in Aerospace

Targeting Cleaning Personnel

Sadly, custodial technicians can be especially prone to allowing tailgating. Many can be convinced to allow unauthorized people into a restricted area—often to be nice—or not realize the potential consequences of not completely closing a door or sharing a badge. Moreover, posing as a cleaning worker is a favorite trick of tailgaters; many cleaning companies struggle with employee retention and constantly send new workers to contracted sites, so the tailgaters are less likely to be recognized.

These facts make it essential for aerospace facilities to contract a cleaning services provider with superior hiring, vetting, and training programs; impressive employee retention; and aerospace-specific experience.

How Tailgating Happens

Tailgating and/or piggybacking can occur in a variety of ways, including unauthorized individuals:

  • Preying on a sense of courtesy and trust, leading those with a security clearance to hold the door open for the person behind them
  • Carrying a package and requesting the door be held open
  • Saying they have an appointment and are expected, which can be especially convincing when they use a specific person’s name
  • Professing to have left their badge or security device elsewhere
  • Sneaking in when a door closes slowly or doesn’t click all the way shut and this goes unnoticed
  • Seizing the opportunity when a door remains open for a reason, such as moving furniture in and out
  • Making a person with security clearance feel uncomfortable challenging the intruder’s right to be there through aggressive behavior

There are almost as many scenarios for tailgating as there are potential consequences.

Tailgating and Security

While tailgating poses a significant security risk, its goals may vary, with intruder(s) intending to:

  • Steal valuable equipment such as computers, laptops, or especially in aerospace settings, sensitive, high-security information
  • Vandalize equipment and premises
  • Insert spyware or install malware or ransomware on specific computers
  • Access servers and create a backdoor to the entire network
  • Install cameras or listening devices to operations to monitor the area and engage in cyberespionage
  • Inflict physical harm or violence on targeted individuals

Aerospace: Different Motivation, Increased Danger

Tailgaters can include almost anyone with a motive, including disgruntled former employees, hackers, vandals, mischief makers, or anyone who has an issue with an employee or the company. However, tailgaters who target aerospace facilities can have broader, potentially more dangerous agendas, including espionage. As the stakes of tailgating rise, so too does the level of danger for employees, the company, and our nation.

Tailgating presents a real and present danger in U.S. aerospace facilities. Hiring a commercial cleaning services provider with experience in the level of training and security required to prevent it is crucial.

Security Risks at Aerospace Properties

Servicon, The Experienced Aerospace Cleaning Services Provider

If you are looking for a commercial cleaning services provider with 50 years of aerospace experience, a superior safety record, glowing client testimonials, and hiring, vetting, and training programs that prevent tailgating, we invite you to browse our website, email us, or call us at 310-204-5040.

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