Piggy Backing & Tailgating Security

What is Tailgating or Piggybacking in Access Control?

It’s no secret that access control is vital to workplace safety, however, the act of “tailgating” or “piggybacking” is by far one of the most common security issues felt across industries. Tailgating usually occurs when an unauthorized person slips in through a door before it closes; there are two types of tailgating security to consider: the first is casual tailgating, and the second is pre-meditated or deliberate tailgating. Adversely, Piggybacking occurs when an authorized person allows someone to follow them through a door to a secure area.

Regardless of the action taken, both compromise the security of the site in question and open it up a variety of threats.

Thought needs to be given when considering countermeasures against piggybacking or tailgating security. The first consideration is whether the client needs to deter, detect or prevent tailgating – this is where Isotec comes in. Isotec utilizes tailgating countermeasures in our security door systems.

Tailgating involves an unauthorized individual who enters a facility by slipping in behind someone with authorized access. This can be casual or pre-meditated, but both are equally compromising to a hospital’s security. The term piggybacking is used to identify a situation where an authorized individual willingly enables an unauthorized individual to follow them through a secure checkpoint within the hospital’s physical infrastructure.

Both piggybacking and tailgating can be avoided by integrating specialized security systems that use double-positive ID technology to verify single access, and include mantrap door interlocks.

Can I Prevent Tailgating or Piggybacking?


Deterring tailgating may be possible with employee training and follow-on enforcement measures for violators. This approach may be appropriate for some businesses.

Detecting tailgating can be accomplished by a simple infrared beam system with a dedicated card reader system attached next to a door with a sign that reads, “One person at a time.” This scenario will not prevent tailgating, but it may detect it and most likely deter casual tailgating. Tailgating may only be prevented if the proper sensors are used in conjunction with mantrap door interlocks.

However, the only known countermeasure to prevent 100% of any tailgating act, whether it be casual, or an act of espionage is by incorporating a weight system with double-positive ID technology. Logging biometric data to authorized personnel restrict access and ensures 100% security compliance. This level of security is guaranteed to prevent tailgating or unauthorized access to a facility or secured area within a facility.

Custom Anti-Tailgating Mantraps


The system’s sensors are programmed to send signals to the system’s Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) when tailgating is detected. The PLC signals to keep an access door(s) locked into or out of a facility when tailgating is detected. Annunciators within the tailgating access control will instruct the occupants what to do. This configuration can be considered to be a mantrap or security vestibule.

Isotec is committed to controlling access and ensuring a safe environment in public, private, and government workplaces. A facility’s security requisites will determine the types of sensors used to either detect or prevent tailgating. Contact us today for more information.