Tailgating/ Piggybacking: An Overview

Social engineering dangers encompass a huge number of cyber-attacks. Various research has shown that day by day, these attacks are increasing, leading to almost 90% of successful cyberattacks with the help of malicious social engineering.

 The main aim of social engineers is to get confidential and sensitive information from users without their knowledge. These devious schemes help social engineers to steal information that can be further manipulated to engineer highly developed attacks or for financial profits.

Two most commonly practiced social engineering techniques are tailgating and piggybacking. The most common essence of both of these practices is to take advantage of the human factor to breach areas that are reserved for authorized officials. It leads to a threat to physical security as well as information systems.

Most often, the terms tailgating and piggybacking are used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between the two. Let’s understand more about tailgating & piggybacking, and we will also learn about how anti-tailgating security devices help in preventing threats like tailgating & piggybacking.

What is Tailgating?

Tailgating is an easy social engineering attack in which a hacker gets access to the areas that are restricted to authorized people by following an authorized person in the reserved area. The hacker takes advantage of the instance when the door is opened by the authorized person using his or her identity card and tiptoes into the room before the door shuts.

Tailgating is common in organizations with numerous entrance doors, and these organizations are highly vulnerable to these kinds of threats. It is also possible for a hacker to gain access to an organization with a huge number of employees. In office spaces, where employees frequently shift from meeting to meeting, around a huge network of buildings and corridors, tailgating attempts may also escape security search.

Direct tailgating can be avoided by changing the environment. Most of the established organizations have a few entry-related security procedures that include biometric-identification systems, badge identification systems, and other forms of authentication systems.  

Regardless, it is probable that the hacker might start talking to the employees and increase familiarity with them to get access to the restricted and secured areas. They might even pressurize and manipulate a potential employee, and the individual can unknowingly be an accomplice in the tailgating attack. 


What is Piggybacking?

Another kind of social engineering attack that can pose a threat to physical security is piggybacking. In this type of attack, the hacker gains access to restricted and secured places by trickery. They often obtain permission to enter the restricted area by manipulating the authorized person. 

How to avoid tailgating and piggybacking?

To ensure the safety and security of your organization, the employees should be provided education regarding social engineering threats. For example, if an employee finds a stranger at his workplace without identification proof can follow some security protocols. Most organizations have a security policy that states rules describing access rules to restricted areas. These must be followed by the employees in case of any suspicious activity in the organization.  

The employees should be clearly instructed not to allow anyone whom he/she does not recognize in the restricted and secure area of the organization. Let the person open the lock on the door to avoid tailgating. Also, the employees can check the identification badge or visitor badge of the unknown person in the office. In case of any suspicion, the employees should immediately contact the security personnel to avoid any mishap. 

So, here are some ways through which tailgating or piggybacking can be staved off. Let's have a look at them:

A few Tips To Prevent Tailgating And Piggybacking Are As Follows:

       Always Give Value To Physical Security - Well, you might be utilizing extremely advanced security measures to reduce the risks of security threats & even expenses, but never neglect the significance of physical security. There are a number of advantages of having physical security employed at your facility. If you keep physical security at the doors to your facility, you can effortlessly see if somebody is trying to make an attempt of piggybacking or tailgating as they arrive. This is one of the simplest ways you can curtail unauthorized access to your facility.


       Proper Management Of Access Control Anti Tailgating Devices - One of the most worthwhile & effective ways of preventing the risks of tailgating or piggybacking, is to install rightful access control anti tailgating devices and handle them in a systematic manner. For example — turnstiles. It is one of the best entrance control strategies as turnstiles allow only an individual at one point in time, and it lets the visitors enter when they present their appropriate credentials. By relying on the premises' requirements, it is possible to regulate the turnstiles with or without the support of the building security staff.


       Visitor Badges: You should make sure that all the visitors and temporary workers must be wearing identification badges which would indicate that they are authorized people and must not be denied to get access to the building. This is an extremely crucial tool which helps employees to easily identify unauthorized people by the absence of a visitor badge.


       Security Camera System: An instalment of a security camera system that monitors all the entry and exit points and helps identify unauthorized access. Plus, the camera systems might be further incorporated to evaluate the event and specify if more than one person arrived at the time of valid access. This would result in an unauthorized access analytic-driven alarm to warn the security staff about any tailgating scenarios happening within your premises. The tailgate security system proves to be a saviour in such cases.


Tailgating or Piggybacking is a very common thing seen in IT organizations. But there are a lot of other solutions that you can enforce to mitigate the risk of security threats.

Yes, you read that right! The above-listed tips to prevent tailgating or piggybacking are very much effective, but you know what, they are not sufficient enough until you have your hands on our tailgate detection systems!

Access control anti-tailgating devices are the best way to safeguard your facilities!

So,  we have a solution for you — "smartATG". 

"smartATG is an AI-based integrated Anti-Tailgating Access Control & Anti-Piggyback system with state-of-the-art smartXS plus 2Door 2Reader access controller & smart ONE." 

This tailgate detection system works in conjunction with an access control system to detect a person following a cardholder through a controlled entrance.

This access control tailgating alarm can be used to trigger an appropriate response:

        Real-Time Tailgating & Piggybacking detection.

        Tailgating Alarm output relay for connecting an audio-visual alarm.

        Modbus connectivity option for integration with third-party BMS.

        SNMP alert for integration with IT systems administration software for the critical alert.

        Tailgating or Piggybacking event image capturing & SMS alert.

        CCTV Integration for generating incidence evidence.


We hope that this article was helpful to you in several ways. However, if you want more relevant information about tailgate detection systems or access control anti-tailgating devices, feel free to reach out to us or check our website for more


Mr. Yatin Patil

Head- Data Center