Tailgating or piggybacking is the most common form of security breach that happens across residential buildings and office complexes. It starts out innocently – an employee opening a door and holding it open for others, visitors without badges, or the passive acceptance of an uninformed worker, and is often ignored by the security personnel as a non-serious offense. However, not all people who piggyback have harmless intentions.

While common courtesy demands holding doors for one another, in an access controlled environment, however, this behaviour is called tailgating – something that happens at a rate of 40-60% of all entrants to a corporate workplace. The impact and costs of tailgating are far and widespread affecting both the business and the personnel. These costs are both tangible and intangible.

Tangible costs include theft of equipment, sensitive hardware or intellectual property, workplace violence, and physical attacks to network equipment. The intangible impact of such breaches can be seen in a greater level of acceptance for poor management behaviour, harassment and ethical short-cuts creeping into the organization’s culture. Another intangible cost associated with tailgating is the loss of productivity due to an incident occurring. Smaller incidents such as the theft of a wallet results in a feeling of insecurity and create mistrust amongst the employees.

There are two kinds of measures that one can take against tailgating – Behavioural Modification and/or a Technological solution. Let’s take a closer look at both.

Behavioural Change

Tailgating is primarily a behavioural problem, and a well-planned social engineering strategy can reap rich dividends here. A company must have a strong and clearly laid out badge-wearing policy that encourages employees to wear their badges at all times. Also, by enabling multiple uses of the badges, one can influence the badge wearing behaviour. For eg. badges can be used to clock in and out, to attend class, to obtain a meal or gain access to a printer or copier.

Another important change that can encourage the usage of badges is the change in physical placement of badge reading equipment. Placing the reader in a location where it is easily accessible to people can be really helpful. For eg. several Silicon Valley companies have placed the card reader on a pedestal a few feet in front of the door that has ensured badges are read even when employees arrive in groups.

Hardware and Technological Change

The single most effective deterrent to tailgating as observed by most security professionals is single-person revolving doors and turnstiles which physically restrict access to a single user at a time upon presentation of a valid credential. However, there are several challenges with these systems. First of all it’s not feasible to install these at all corporate access points due to issues of culture, aesthetics and accountability. Secondly, they are highly restrictive in throughput, expensive to install and maintain and are not conducive to an inviting culture of a collaborative work environment.

Advancement in the Access Control technology has led to solutions that are far more open, have a greater throughput and are aesthetically more pleasing. Cloudastructure is a frontrunner when it comes to preventing tailgating through its highly efficient and smart access control system.

One of the biggest advantages to Cloudastructure’s integration of Access Control and Video Surveillance is that, with an additional ceiling mounted camera, the system can accurately count how many people enter through a door and match that to the number of cards reads. Tailgaters can be automatically detected and with Cloudastructure’s facial recognition technology they can also automatically by recognized and contacted via e-mailed, with a copy of the video clip of them letting in a tailgater. If the tailgater is recognized too, they will be notified as well and if they’re not recognized, security staff can be instantly notified of an intrusion.

Many of our clients have seen compliance change dramatically as all the badge holders swipe in every time.

One badge swipe, one person. Everytime. This is what we try and accomplish with our advanced ACaaS solutions.

Rajeev Kak
Chief Marketing Officer
Mr. Rajeev Kak has over 20 years' experience in managing global marketing, sales and business development teams with several successes in driving new product introduction, new market development with global marketing launch and marketing programs management experience in large companies as well as start ups. Rajeev is an energetic, digital-savvy marketer with several achievements in product strategy, product marketing, lead generation, pipeline nurturing and inside sales, as well as mobile and social media marketing. Rajeev was recognized as one of Top 50 Most Talented CMOs for 2014 by CMO-Asia publication and World Marketing Congress. Previously, at SAP, Rajeev was one of the founding team members and headed the marketing function for a strategic ecosystem marketplace initiative SAP EcoHub and received the MVP award for leading a very successful global market launch. Besides SAP, Rajeev also held senior management roles at various companies including Adobe Systems and i2 Technologies. Rajeev is an engineering graduate from IIT Delhi, he has completed MBA (Marketing) from FMS, Delhi University and has a Masters degree in Management Information Systems from Texas Tech University.