Access control is an important component for workplace safety, however can be hard to achieve in an open environment designed to be inviting and easily accessible to employees and customers. Violations of access control can take the forms of tailgating and piggybacking. Tailgating occurs when an unauthorized person slips in through a door before it closes. Piggybacking occurs when an authorized person allows someone to follow them through a door to secure area. Both practices are breaches of security which have the potential to expose your workplace to a variety of threats.
The Risks of Tailgating & Piggybacking
- Theft. Allowing unauthorized individuals into secured areas can result in tangible losses to include:
- Office equipment
- Intellectual property
- Sensitive hardware
- Employee personal items such as phones, wallets, purses and other valuable items
- Unsafe Working Environment.An unsecured environment that does not have access controls is more susceptible to:
- Workplace Violence
- Active Shooter
- Domestic Violence
- Acts of Terrorism
- Unhealthy Company Culture. Even if the piggy backer is an employee with appropriate clearance, the failure to respect the rules contributes to an overall attitude that security is not important, further increasing the likelihood of a future security breach.
Access Control Solutions
Piggy backing is primarily a behavioral issue that circumvents established access control procedures. One of the most effective ways to combat this behavior is by embracing a “secure building” culture, whereby all employees / tenants accept their shared responsibility in maintaining a safe workplace. Following are some suggestions to help ensure the safety and security of your office space:
- Don’t hold badge accessed doors open for anyone that you do not know personally, and make sure no one slips in behind you.
- Bring attention to any individual you observe trying to slip through any type of access control situation whether it involves badging in, signing a visitor log or checking in with security.
- If you find a door that does not automatically close or has a broken lock, contact building security. If you find a door that is propped open, please close it.
- Never hesitate to challenge unfamiliar people in your workplace or office building. People often avoid doing this as it makes them feel uncomfortable or rude, or they are afraid they will be mistaken. Circumvent this discomfort by approaching the encounter as an opportunity to meet someone new, and address unknown individuals with a friendly greeting and question as opposed to a confrontational or accusatory manner. Employees or visitors with a legitimate right to be there will not be offended by a friendly approach, and will likely respect your commitment to workplace security. Unauthorized individuals will shy away from any sort of attention, and are likely to leave on their own if they are directly addressed.
- Report any suspicious individuals to the security team.
Security is everyone’s responsibility – remain situationally aware at all times, and take action to address individuals who seem lost, aren’t dressed for the environment, don’t have a badge, or who blatantly attempt to evade access control measures. This collective effort will enhance the security of your workplace and the safety of all employees and tenants.