Tackling the tailgating threat

Cupertino, Ca (USA)

With physical security, safeguarding the workspace goes beyond traditional locks and keys. One often overlooked vulnerability is tailgating, a security breach where unauthorised personnel gain access to a secured space by following an authorised person without proper verification. Tailgating might seem harmless, but it poses a significant threat to a company's security and can lead to theft and other undesirable outcomes.  Here, the experts at Alcatraz AI explain how to defend against unauthorised entry and offer some advice on best practice strategies for preventing it in the first place.

Understanding tailgating

Imagine this scenario: someone enters their office building using their access credentials and holds the door for a colleague who forgot their badge. While this gesture may seem courteous, it opens the door – literally – for potential security breaches. Tailgating occurs when someone gains entry without proper authentication by exploiting the kindness or negligence of authorised personnel. This innocent act can give unauthorised individuals access to sensitive areas, putting your company's assets, data, and employees at risk.

The cost of ignoring tailgating

Tailgating is not a mere inconvenience; it's a security loophole that can have dire consequences. Internal theft and security breaches are prevalent issues, costing businesses an estimated $50 billion annually. 2023 IBM research of a cost of a data breach report shows that 8% of all cyber security breaches come from a physical security compromise, with the average loss from these incidents averaging a staggering $4.1 Million. With a traditional access control system, tailgating can inadvertently grant access to unauthorised individuals, leaving a company susceptible to theft, vandalism, or even more severe threats like violence or terrorism. Sensitive areas such as laboratories, medical facilities, and equipment rooms are particularly vulnerable to tailgating,so addressing this issue head-on is imperative.

Prioritising security

Maintaining a safe work environment is paramount in an era where security threats can come from both external and internal sources. According to Alcatraz, it is believed that insider attacks and accidental breaches are now more likely than external cyber attacks. To combat this threat, knowing who is present within the premises at any given time is crucial. Biometric access control systems offer a reliable solution that can help prevent tailgating.

Preventing tailgating: Best Practices

  • Implement a Biometric Access Control System: A biometric access control system is a game-changer when it comes to preventing tailgating. Solutions like Alcatraz AI's Rock technology use advanced facial authentication to ensure that only authorised individuals gain entry into secured spaces. Implementing a Zero Trust policy, where every authorised person is required to use a credential or biometric profile to enter one at a time, leaves no room for unauthorised access.
  • Educate Your Workforce: Technology alone is not enough; employees need to understand the importance of anti-tailgating measures. Staff should be trained to avoid holding doors for others, allowing the access control system to function optimally. This education can mitigate the chances of internal breaches due to misunderstandings.
  • Maintain Awareness: As employees return to physical workspaces, ensuring their safety remains a priority. Biometric access control systems, like the Alcatraz AI Rock, enable companies to accurately track who enters their buildings, enhancing overall security.

The security of the workplace and the safety of employees are at stake. By adopting biometric access control systems and educating the workforce, companies can effectively counteract the threat of tailgating. The evolution of security technology has provided powerful tools to combat this issue, ensuring that only authorised personnel access the premises. As businesses continue to adapt to new challenges, preventing tailgating should be a top priority to uphold the integrity of any workspace and protect the most valuable assets.


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