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Tailgating Attack

You want to feel safe when working or browsing the web. Most of us know to defend ourselves from cyberattacks like phishing, but we need also to secure our physical safety.

One such threat is "tailgating," a sort of social engineering in which an intruder gains physical entry to a firm with the intent of stealing sensitive data or causing other damage.

Learn how to avoid being a victim of a tailgating attack at work, where an intruder follows you into a constrained area.

Tailgating Attack

An Overview of Tailgating Attack

Tailgating attack meaning is when someone tries to sneak into a restricted area. The most prevalent type of tailgating attack includes following a trusted individual into a restricted area. One common method of doing this is to trail someone when they enter a building. A hacker can also "tailgate" into your digital domain if they steal a laptop or device from an employee and then use those credentials to get access to private data or restricted portions of the network.

Incursions like ransomware and phishing might follow a tailgating strike. An individual may use tailgating to obtain access to a network by pretending to be a trusted user. That is to say, such invasions are typically just the beginning of a much larger and more complex offensive.

Who is at risk?

Particularly susceptible to tailgating frauds are the following types of businesses:

  • Lots of people working there, constantly coming and going.
  • Having more than one way to enter a structure.
  • Those who receive regular deliveries of food, shipments, documents, and other items.
  • Which employ a large number of independent contractors.
  • Where workers haven't received adequate instruction in physical and cyber safety measures.

Common Methods

Hackers can use tailgating to break into a company's network and access connected gadgets. Some common instances include the following:

The intruder requests an individual to "hold the door":

An intruder may pose as a coworker and ask a person entering a building to hold open a door. The perpetrator may pretend to forget their ID card, linger out in common areas like break rooms, or initiate a discussion with actual workers to further establish the illusion that he or she is a member of the staff.

The criminal acts as a supplier or serviceman:

They disguise themselves as staff members or visitors in order to gain entry into the premises with packages, food, or other necessities.

The adversary obtains a device:

Assuming the battery is dead on their own device, an attacker could approach a worker and ask to use their laptop or smartphone. The next step is to install adversarial software or, in an unauthorized way, take the victim's credentials.

How to Prevent?

Learning about the problem, increasing your level of awareness while on the job, and, if your employer allows it, implementing more robust security measures are all ways to protect yourself from tailgating attacks.

These are some possible answers:

  • Smart Badges and Cards

When working in a multi-story building, it can be difficult for employees to tell who else works there and who doesn't, leaving them open to tailgating and piggybacking attacks. Smart badges and cards that are required to enter restricted locations can help reduce break-ins and improve security.

A security plan can also include the installation of fully staffed reception areas staffed by security guards.

  • Employee Training

Having security measures in place can make individuals feel more at ease, leading them to overlook obvious loopholes. So, it's important to teach employees how to spot and stop tailgating. The risk of tailgating can be greatly mitigated by training personnel to recognize and avoid it.

Establishing a company-wide culture of cyber awareness and educating workers on their roles in keeping sensitive data secure is crucial. Best practices for employee security include:

  • Hold the queue for no one.
  • Prevent others from entering restricted locations.
  • Direct non-visitors to reception.
  • Report suspicious behavior to security.
  • Send "lost" guests to the reception desk.
  • If an electronic door malfunctions, notify security or IT.
  • Close doors, especially server rooms.
  • Make sure repairmen and deliverymen are authorized and carrying badges.
  • Even if they're known or friendly with a current employee, don't let ex-employees into the organization without authorization from authorized people (e.g., IT team) or ID credentials.
How to Prevent?
  • Biometric Scanners

Turnstiles and biometric scanners ensure that only one person at a time can enter a restricted area. They are installed to ensure that no one follows too closely behind a legitimate employee or visitor to a building or office. Smart cards and other electronic access restrictions for limited areas and entrances are also essential for preventing tailgating. 

  • Video Surveillance

The use of surveillance technology, such as closed-circuit televisions, allows for constant monitoring of the premises. Having the devices out in the open sends a message to would-be intruders that the area is not open for business.

  • Ensuring Quick and Secure Door Closures

It's important to put in place access restrictions for restricted areas and entrances that use automatic doors that close quickly. Tailgating security detection is another feature of security rotating doors, as is the assurance that a single person will not be followed into a building.

  • Photo ID

Both employees and guests should be compelled to show identification at all times. Each ID must be plainly displayed. Anyone who does not use one of these forms of identification stands out in a crowd, making them easy to spot, identify, and keep out of restricted areas.

  • Security Guards

A security guard is a visible deterrent to would-be intruders. Guards should be taught to identify and question anyone acting suspiciously or who does not have proper identification. 

  • Laser Sensors Or Mantraps

We are able to restrict entry to a single user with the use of photosensors, laser sensors, and mantraps. This allows us to stop unauthorized individuals from entering the building behind the person who has restricted access.

  • Knowing How Social Manipulation Works

People's lack of knowledge about tailgating social engineering and its dangers makes them susceptible to materialistic and online invasions.

Protecting oneself online or in the office requires workers to be well-versed in the complete gamut of its tactics and know-how.

In order to promote awareness and emphasize the importance of following rules when dealing with these types of assaults, businesses can deploy simulated phishing emails and tailgating incursions.


The malevolent actions of threat actors are not confined to the realm of computer networks alone. Unfortunately, breaches in physical safety are not a thing of the past; they occur frequently, and many companies lack the means and preparedness to deal with them. Strengthening physical access controls should follow improved privacy awareness exercises and simulated social engineering outbreaks in stopping tailgating in its tracks.


What is tailgating attack?
How can I prevent tailgating attack?
What are the consequences of a tailgating attack?
What should I do if I suspect a tailgating attack?
Which methods can be used to mitigate tailgating attacks in the age of Covid?


Backdoor attacks - GitHub Topics

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February 26, 2024
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