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The Insider Threat – What can Airports do?

Amid concerns about terrorists training in Syria and then returning to Europe or the United States, airport security officials remain focused on threats posed by “insiders” i.e. airport employees who could use their access to airport facilities to carry out a terrorist attack.

This threat could come from any airline or airport employee with access to restricted  or airside areas within the airfield.

So what can airports do to mitigate against insider threats?
insider-threatThe CPNI Insider Data Collection Study looked into the personality types, behaviours and organisational settings associated with insider activity. The CNPI believe there is a “clear link between an insider act taking place and exploitable weaknesses in an employer’s protective security and management processes.”

We believe that airport ID pass management systems like MTrust, whilst not offering an all-encompassing panacea for solving the insider threat, can help airports addresses the key weaknesses identified by the CNPI:

1. Poor management practices and a lack of awareness of people risk at a senior level/Inadequate corporate governance

With the best of breed processes embedded, MTrust can overcome any such existing poor practice. Employing these new systems allows the opportunity to drive a cultural shift in how we manage insider threat to aviation, from the top down.

2. Poor use of auditing functions

The new systems offer traceability and auditing at their heart. For example, MTrust offers a user audit that tracks every action performed by all users in detail.

3. Poor security culture

The new way of issuing an airport ID pass alleviates attention to administrative functions in the ID pass process. With the old paper based processes, vetting agents could become bogged down in the paperwork. Removing this allows agents time to think about security and identify potential risks, rather than typos!

4. Lack of adequate, role-based, personnel security, risk assessment

Systems hosted in the cloud allow a better classification of roles. Allowing different users to perform different actions, based on their roles.

5. Poor pre-employment screening

An online system can ensure that airport ID passes cannot progress without the required criteria being met e.g.:

  • 5 years history must be covered by references
  • A valid GSAT certificate has been provided
  • A valid Security Clearance reference (e.g. Basic Disclosure, CTC) has been provided

6. Poor communication between business areas

Online systems like MTrust enable online communications and communities within the system design. This ensures that communication can be carried out both within and across organisations involved in countering the threat to aviation to ensure best practices across the industry.


To learn more about how MTrust can revolutionise your ID pass management to lower the risk of an insider threat and improve security, service and efficiency, enquire now or contact us today on +44 (0)333 456 2001.

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