Act Like You Belong There

Tailgating: The Crime Where We Don’t Know We’re Guilty

A facility breach can happen to any business at any time in a variety of ways. Though the necessity for security and access control systems has been around for a long time, people are continuously finding new ways to gain access to unauthorized places. Sharing key cards, sharing access cards, holding the door open for someone, propping the door open while you run out to your car – these are all common facility breaches that can have detrimental effects on a facility or company.

Tailgating is one of many facility breach methods and one of the most common ways people enter buildings whether on accident or on purpose. In fact, many of us are likely guilty of tailgating or contributing to tailgating more than we think. Any time you swipe your badge to gain access to your place of work and then hold the door open for the person behind you and they enter without swiping their badge, you just contributed to tailgating. When you enter a building behind someone that was buzzed in or swiped in, you are now the tailgater. As you can imagine, this is an enduring problem since we are dealing with human nature and people’s good intentions, which are not always taken into account when putting in place top-notch security systems.

Security - Tailgating

When Boon Edam, global market leader in entry solutions, surveyed security professionals about tailgating and the estimated cost of a physical breach, 54 percent of them estimated the cost would range from $150,000 to “too high to measure.” That is a high price to pay for someone that was simply trying to be nice and hold the door open for the person behind them.  Charles Crenshaw, chief executive officer, ISONAS Security Systems says, “One of the biggest issues with tailgating is the potential for crime to be done by someone who you didn’t even know was in your building.”

How to Mitigate Risk – Education

Even though it is a common courtesy to hold a door open, we are exposing the facility to a costly risk. It is important to inform employees how this particular common courtesy could put companies and other employees at risk. Employees need to be aware that even if someone holds the door for them, they must still swipe their badges. This is for their protection as well as the company’s. In turn, it is important that if employees hold the door open for others, the people behind them should swipe their badges too.

Induction training that includes social engineering discussions, regular security seminars, and general access to information on common security threats.

Providing employees with current information and training on security threats and how to mitigate them, is the best strategy in preventing tailgating among other facility breach methods. By improving employee awareness, you are taking necessary steps to protect your business as well as your staff. Not only is it important for your employees to be informed, but for your business to stay up-to-date through security seminars and conferences on the latest technology. Learn about the different kinds of barriers available for your facility such as revolving doors, turnstiles, access cards and alarms, just to name a few. Lastly, with the addition of comprehensive employee training and continuous research on the latest security threats and solutions, invest the time and resources into upgrading your company’s security program. This should include all aspects of security, from improvements to the physical security of your facility, the robustness of your network and the regular set-up of social engineering training programs to refresh employee knowledge.

In the Boon Edam survey mentioned above, a respondent commented about mitigating risk and said, “You cannot depend on one technical solution to mitigate the risk…you need barriers, followed by surveillance and appropriate response plans.” The statement couldn’t be more accurate. A security professional’s job is never done. There is always a new breach happening and new technology being made to combat it. In addition to training, it is important to support these efforts with regular checks as part of a comprehensive security program such as risk assessments and gap analyses, as well as network reviews and penetration testing. It is a cost-effective solution to mitigate risk in addition to being beneficial for businesses and individuals alike.

Keep Up with the Latest from