Access Control Tailgating – Understanding How To Utilize Top Security Features

Most access control systems are vulnerable to an easy attack called tailgating. It is a common gesture for individuals to hold doors for others which compromises access security.

The Real Problem

When someone with credentials opens an access controlled door and allows one or more individuals to walk through while the door is open it’s known as tailgating or piggybacking. This typically happens as a thoughtful gesture or an unconscious effort while you or another is in a hurry.

A rather rare, but very risky, case is when someone deliberately sneaks behind a valid cardholder to elude the security system. This small act immensely affects the entire facility and its security. Typically the individual holding the door is unaware of how their good manners are undermining the access control system.

Security Education Is Vital

It is uncommon for individuals to purposefully undermine the physical security of a room or building, but it is common for them not to recognize the risk associated with their actions. An effective approach to balancing politeness and security is to educate others of why, or if, a door is a security point. Security access control does not necessarily apply to all facility doors, including the most commonly used ones. 

A locked door, or one that is equipped with access devices like readers or keypads, should never be held open, but should remain closed after an authorized entry. To promote security awareness often training and door signage are essential for these openings. These are both simple techniques, however, have proven very effective in improving security with access controlled doors.

Other Tailgating Factors

  • Bad Weather
  • Misaligned or Worn Doors
  • Inconvenience or Laziness
  • Malicious Intent


  • Signage and Vigilance
  • Hold Open Alarms
  • Piggybacking Detectors and Analytics
  • Turnstiles or Revolving Doors
  • Mantraps or Airlocks

Almost every access controlled facility is susceptible to the widespread risk of tailgating. However, it’s possible to combat the problem by implementing a range of engineering controls. The cost of these solutions vary depending on the hardware needed as well as the facility and security system.

If you are looking to add new security features into your business, like Tailgating Solutions, let RC Security help. Our continued research and partnerships with premium brands allow us to offer better quality every time.

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Founded in 2016, with over 20 years of industry experience, the team at RC Security Consulting has been keeping the people of DFW Texas safe with custom commercial security solutions.

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