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Access Control | Security Terms

What is Tailgating?

June 8th, 2023 | 2 min. read

Isabel Leckie

Isabel Leckie

Isabel is a Marketing Specialist at DGA.

Tailgating refers to an action in which a person without a valid access credential enters an access control point by closely following another person who did present a valid access credential.

The technique used in tailgating is simple but effective. The tailgater waits for an authorized person to scan their access credential into a secured area, such as an office lobby. They then quickly follow the authorized person through the door. Once inside the secured area, the perpetrator can cause damage to the business by stealing confidential information or sabotaging systems, among other things.

Tailgating can be particularly difficult to prevent because it relies on human behavior. It is natural for employees to not confront or even hold the door open for those they perceive to be coworkers out of politeness. It is also challenging to detect since security cameras may not capture the act of tailgating. This is why educating employees about the risks of tailgating and enforcing strict access control policies is essential.

One way to prevent tailgating is to train employees to be aware of their surroundings and to report any suspicious activity. Optical turnstiles can also be effective solutions to ensure that each person entering a secured area is authorized to do so.