What Is Tailgating in Cyber Security?

One of the most common and widespread security breaches affecting organizations today is a social engineering attack called tailgating (also known as aliasing).

Tailgating, in cyber security, means acquiring access to a location by following someone who is unaware that they are being followed. An example would be finding the email account of an owner who had forgotten to close it and using the account for nefarious purposes.

A tailgating attack is a social engineering attack in which an attacker enters a restricted area without proper authentication. Using tailgates (also known as aliases) is one of the most common ways hackers and other suspicious individuals access restricted areas. Trailing is the most common method hackers use to gain access in the smallest space.

In this, hackers follow an authorized person to enter a very limited location in an organization. Closing basically involves following an authorized person to a reserved location to access the door with a lock code. Tailgating is a situation in which an unauthorized person closely follows an authorized person in a restricted area.

Tailgating Is Contrasted with Reversing

In comparison, “reverse” means others follow the door without the knowledge of the person who opened the door. During the bypass, the intruder relies on the other person, following common courtesy, refraining from calling him or even holding the door.

When an employee receives security check approval and opens the door, the person asks the employee to hold the door, thus gaining access through someone who has the right to enter the company. If a stranger enters the door before the door closes, that person has entered the room.

Employees must be aware of the dangers of covert attacks, as well as approaches that an unauthorized person can use to access them. Employees need to be educated in the tricks of the tailgating trade and how these criminals use the fear of being rude to bypass security. Organizations should educate their security personnel and other employees on how to identify common stealth access methods.

Train Employees Not to Allow Tailgating

Hire security experts to train your employees and test their knowledge by simulating possible covert attacks. You can provide them with a free security and privacy course to make sure they never fall into the trap of a sneak attack again. Security training will close the door to loopholes and equip employees with the knowledge they need to deal with this insidious problem.

Organizations should have a rapid incident response plan in place if an attacker successfully breaches an organization’s physical boundaries or security measures and restricts access to certain areas. When attackers gain access to your physical systems, it can lead to further cybersecurity breaches and information theft. Incorporating backdoors into social engineering attack methods creates vulnerabilities anywhere your employees physically interact in any way.

Social Engineering Assists Tailgaters

Threats that fall behind in social engineering attacks come from unauthorized individuals trying to infiltrate behind authorized personnel or convince personnel of their legitimacy to access restricted areas (eg, server rooms, employee workstations). One of the most common physical security breaches is the passage of unauthorized personnel behind authorized personnel.

Delays, sometimes referred to as pick-up delays, are a physical security breach in which unauthorized personnel follow authorized personnel into a safe location. Delays are one of the most common and innocent security breaches—employees opening doors and opening doors for others, visitors without badges, or passive acceptance of workers in uniform.

A sneak attack occurs when an unauthorized person enters a secure area following an authorized person through an access point. A tail attack is an act of using someone to gain access to an area they don’t have access to or permission to enter. Like phishing, including spear-phishing or whaling, Tailgating is an information security ploy designed to deceive authorized individuals and allow attackers to gain access to sensitive areas and information.

Tailgating Can Place Employees and Systems at Risk

This attack is physical and can cause huge damage to an organization due to data leakage, data manipulation or theft, malware attacks through malware distribution, etc. The main reason behind stealth attacks is always theft of confidential information for malicious purposes.

A tail attack is a social engineering attempt by cyber threats in which they trick employees into helping them gain unauthorized access to company premises. Tailgating, sometimes known as Piggbacking, is a low-tech form of social engineering that is physical rather than digital hacking.

Known as a “travel,” it’s often caused by random acts of kindness, such as opening doors for strangers. Stalking comes in various forms, and those who do may be ex-employees or strangers. Captures can range from simply following a person through a door with an access lock to disguising yourself to force people to open that door.

While tailgating is a physical violation, it can also refer to accessing laptops, gadgets, credit cards, and more. For example, when you enter your password, an attacker can remember the combination on your door, your credit card PIN, or your laptop password.

Similar Tactics Exist as well

In the field of security, overlapping, like reversing, refers to when a person tags himself with another person who is allowed to enter a restricted area or pass a certain checkpoint. Someone who may be the victim of an “overlap” attack knows that another person is following their entry, while the authorized person may not be aware of their trailer during the overlay attempts. The intruder turns away and follows the real authorized person to enter the restricted area.

Train employees on how to act as a security guard, such as trying to enter restricted areas when an authorized person enters.

Their employees need to be constantly reminded that it is their job to challenge people who don’t belong to them and stop vans when they try to follow them through open doors. A typical example of a stealth entrance is a scammer who fraudulently enters a corporate building, pretending to be a legitimate visitor, courier or similar. Currently, you can see several instances of organization resources being stolen by hackers and scammers.

Gene Botkin

Gene is a graduate student in cybersecurity and AI at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Ongoing philosophy and theology student.

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