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The Dangers of Tailgating in the Workplace


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Tailgating (or piggybacking) is one of the most widespread security breaches affecting businesses today. It’s a common problem and a recent survey conducted by Boon Edam found that over 70% of respondents believe they are currently vulnerable to a security breach from tailgating.

It’s often innocently carried out by an employee politely holding a door open for someone, a visitor without a badge, or someone in a uniform appearing to be a worker. It may seem like a harmless gesture and something you would do without even thinking twice about, however, these lapses in security have the potential to cause great damage to a business.

It’s easy to assume that an individual entering a workplace is an employee or a contractor and this is the reason these attempted breaches are often so successful. Fraudsters know that it will make employees uncomfortable to confront strangers or deny them access, especially if it’s a large organisation with part-time staff or contractors.

It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and question anything you find suspicious because the reality is that a crime can be committed by someone you didn’t even know was in your building.

If a fraudster gains access, their intent could be anything ranging from theft of equipment, theft of sensitive hardware, unauthorised access to the company’s internal systems, physical acts of violence or access to intellectual property.

This could result in financial loss and damage to the reputation of a company. If an organisation is perceived as having weak security, it may be viewed as being weak and deficient in other areas too.

The consequences of a security breach are much worse than simply asking to see someone’s ID badge or sign them into the building.

What can you do to prevent tailgating?

The Dangers of Tailgating in the Workplace
  • Educate users on the risks associated with tailgating and have a clear policy in place with guidelines and procedures on what to do should an unauthorised person gain access
  • Always be aware of anyone following you through a door. Politely greet them and escort them to their correct location
  • Bring attention to any individual you see trying to slip through security measures
  • Don’t hold the door open for anyone
  • Report any suspicious individuals to the relevant personnel
  • If you find a door does not automatically close or shut properly, then report it to security

Security is the responsibility of everyone within an organisation. It’s important to establish a security culture that encourages employees to think and act in a security-conscious manner and recognise the devastating impact a security breach could have.

By ensuring that simple security behaviours are adhered to, the overall level of security within an organisation can be dramatically improved.

If you would like to find out more about how you can strengthen security measures within your organisation, then check out our award-winning eLearning content. We’ve taken the most up to date research on eLearning methods and combined this with creativity, expert knowledge and innovative software to deliver effective and engaging content that helps businesses stay cyber secure and compliant. Get in touch for further information or to arrange a free trial. 

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