Security Tailgating

Security tailgating is on of the most common security issues across all industries

Tailgating is one of the most common security issues across all industries and can occur in a variety of ways. These range widely from abusing the common courtesy of holding the door for the person behind you, to joining in a crowd of people to create the appearance of authorization, to tricking an authorized user into allowing the person entry.

Is Tailgating a Real Security Threat?

But is tailgating a real threat to your physical security and safety? Yes.

Tailgating results in an unauthorized individual inside your building. This could be a kind vendor, or it could be a disgruntled employee wanting to do harm, an outsider looking to steal valuables or a group of teenagers defacing property.

Tailgating can even happen within your employee population. Again, they may have simply forgot their badge to enter the workplace, or they may be trying to access restricted areas within your campus, like a data center, laboratory or pharmacy.


In fact, many refer to tailgating as the “most common” security risk facing organizations today. We surveyed a group of security end users and advisors across the nation to get their thoughts on tailgating. The infographic below gives a snapshot of the survey results. Click on the graphic to download the official "Trends in Tailgating Executive Summary."

Boon Edam Reveals the Results of its Security Tailgating Survey

What Can Be Done to Mitigate Tailgating?

The security measures you put in place at the entrances and exits of your organization are the first line of defense against intrusion at your facility. However, even with measures such as access control in place, you may still be at risk from unauthorized entry to your facility. How so?

Access control devices, such as card readers, barcode scanners and even biometric devices, are only effective when paired with the right type of entrance. When mounted alongside a swinging door, an access control device will grant access to authorized individuals, but those individuals can hold the door open for others to pass through.

Access Control Devices on Swinging Doors Do Not Mitigate the Risk of Tailgating

There are many tactics organizations use to combat security tailgating, such as employee education programs, signage or punishment when an incident does occurs. However, these methods still leave organizations vulnerable to the risk of an intruder getting inside.

How to Stop Someone From Tailgating: Security Entrances & Access Control

Security entrances paired with access control devices are the only sure way to mitigate tailgating.

Security turnstiles, both waist-height and full-height, are able to address tailgating by closing after each individual who walks through. Some models will sound an alarm when tailgating does occur, alerting nearby guard staff to respond.

Security turnstiles alarm when tailgating occurs to alert nearby guard staff

In the highest security environments, security revolving doors and mantrap portals have sophisticated technology to fully eliminate the possibility of tailgating. These types of entrances can also be integrated with high-security identity verification such as biometrics or facial recognition to further ensure that the person going through the door is who they say they are, and that they are authorized to enter.

Security Revolving Doors Utilize An Overhead Technology System to Prevent Tailgating

To truly eliminate tailgating and the security risks it presents, it makes sense to deploy technology that can achieve those objectives. To learn more about rolling out a tailgating mitigation action plan at your facility, please click here to request an on-site entry assessment.

Boon Edam Offers On-Site Entry Assessments

What is the Difference Between Piggybacking and Tailgating?

Oftentimes the terms "tailgating" and "piggybacking" are used interchangeably, and when it comes to the use of tripod turnstiles, optical turnstiles and mantrap portals, there isn't really a clear distinction between the two. However, entrances with compartments, like full height turnstiles and security revolving doors, there is a difference between piggybacking and tailgating.

  • Tailgating - an unauthorized user following an authorized user in the trailing compartment
  • Piggybacking - an unauthorized user following an authorized user in the same compartment, often the result of collusion (see photo below).

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