Dangers of tailgating

Securing your premises with an access control system is a great way to keep out unauthorised individuals. If your doors will only open for those who present a valid key card or enter the correct passcode, it’s very easy to limit entry exclusively to people you know and trust.

At least, that’s the theory. Sadly, a security system is only as secure as the people who use it – and an access control system is no use if authorised personnel allow other people to follow them through your doors.


What is tailgating?

Tailgating, also known as piggybacking, is when an unauthorised person gains access to a secured building or area by following closely behind an authorised person. This is a very common security issue for workplaces, residential buildings, and other premises that are supposed to be off-limits to all but a select few.

An intruder doesn’t need any special tools or skills to tailgate / piggyback their way into a secure building. All they need to do is wait for the right opportunity to catch a door as it closes, or even just ask a member of staff to hold the door open for them, and they’re in. This ease of access is exactly what makes tailgating such a high-risk threat.

Humans naturally like to help others, which is why it can be easy for criminals to gain access to restricted areas while pretending to be cleaners or contractors.

Tailgating can look like…

  • Catching an open door before it closes
  • Asking an authorised person to hold the door open
  • Pretending to be a member of staff or external contractor to gain access
  • Spying on someone as they enter a secret passcode


Why is tailgating a security threat?

When unauthorised persons gain access to a secure building (or a restricted area within a building), they can easily get at the property, data and people inside.

Tailgating is not only an immediate security threat, but its impact can also cause long-term issues. Intruders could tamper with or damage company equipment and infrastructure, causing ongoing disruption. They could also gather information on you to exploit at a later date or install hidden cameras and plant listening devices for this purpose.


How to prevent tailgating

Tailgating can be prevented if you take the proper precautions and provide sufficient staff training. Make sure your employees are aware of the dangers of tailgating and provide them with information on how to deal with a situation where a stranger asks to grant them access. For example...

  • Make sure nobody is following you when you pass through a secure door
  • Don’t hold the door for anyone you don’t recognise
  • After passing through a door, make sure it’s closed and secured before moving on
  • Cover up the keypad as you’re entering the passcode (in case somebody’s watching!)

Install access control points on all entry and exit points, including internal doors where necessary. If there are multiple security points standing between an intruder and their goal, tailgating becomes a less effective strategy.

Slow-close doors make it very easy for tailgaters to gain access. To avoid instances of unauthorised persons gaining entry by catching an open door before it closes, install doors that close swiftly and securely.

Biometric scanners add an additional level of security. These systems use facial recognition and fingerprint technology to grant or deny access; a determined criminal might be able to steal a key card or find out the passcode for a key entry point, but it’s much harder to fake somebody else’s fingerprints and facial features!


Protecting your business from tailgating with IDS

Take back full control over who can access your premises with a state-of-the-art security system from IDS. We can install a range of access control solutions, including:

  • Smart cards
  • Key fobs
  • Intercom systems
  • Biometrics, including fingerprints and facial recognition

Our access control system installations incorporate all of the latest and most convenient technologies to give your business a high level of security with minimal disruption to your normal working routines.

Access Control Installation

We can also offer expert advice to help you and your staff to minimise the risk of tailgating.

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