Access Control Killer: Tailgating

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 20, 2013

Despite costing thousands of dollars per door, access control systems are inherently vulnerable to an easy exploit called 'tailgating'. Unless this threat is recognized and addressed, even a friendly hand can compromise a huge security investment. In this note, we take a look at 'tailgating' and common steps in dealing with the risk it presents.

The Problem

'Tailgating', also called 'piggybacking' by some, describes the situation when a credentialed person opens a door allowing one or more individuals to immediately pass through while the door is open. The effect of this simple action can render an entire facility unsecure.

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  • Misaligned/Worn *****: Over the course of thousands of open/close cycles, even commercial grade doors, hinges, frames and closers sag or become worn over time. If left unchecked, doors may not fully close when opened or may take a long time to close, therefore allowing many people entrance from a single card read. A regular and discipline door maintenance schedule for access controlled openings is critical to prevent the issue.
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