What is Tailgating in Cyber Security

By | April 25, 2023

Have you ever been in a situation where someone walks in behind you without swiping their access card or entering the security code? That, my friends, is called tailgating. The act of following somebody into a restricted area seems innocent enough, but it can have serious consequences when it comes to cybersecurity. In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into what tailgating is and how it affects your organization’s security measures. Plus, we’ll give you some tips on how to prevent and respond to tailgating attempts. So grab your favorite beverage and let’s get started!

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What is Tailgating in Cyber Security?

Tailgating is a type of social engineering attack that involves an unauthorized person following an authorized person into a restricted area. In cybersecurity, tailgating refers to the act of someone infiltrating your organization’s network or data center by physically following someone with legitimate access.

The attacker may look like they belong in the area and may use various tactics such as distracting the employee at the door, pretending to be on their phone, or even carrying boxes or files to blend in with others. Once inside, they can steal sensitive information, install malware on computers, or plant other types of cyber threats.

Tailgating attacks are becoming increasingly common due to advancements in technology and social engineering tactics. They can occur anywhere from physical office buildings to virtual networks through methods like phishing emails.

It’s essential for companies to take measures such as installing security cameras near entry points and educating employees about security protocols to prevent these attacks.

The History of Tailgating

The history of tailgating dates back to the early 20th century when fans started gathering around their cars before football games. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that tailgating became a widespread phenomenon in the United States. It was during this time that people began using specialized vehicles such as RVs and buses to host elaborate pre-game parties.

Tailgating has since become an integral part of American sports culture, with millions of fans taking part in the tradition every year. Tailgating isn’t just limited to sporting events either; it’s also common at concerts, festivals, and other outdoor gatherings.
Tailgating in Cyber SecurityHowever, with the rise of technology and cyber threats, tailgating has taken on a new meaning in cybersecurity. Instead of physical gatherings around vehicles or entrances, now criminals can use social engineering techniques like phishing attacks or piggybacking on authorized personnel access cards to gain entry into secure buildings.

The evolution from physical tailgating to its digital counterpart highlights how important it is for organizations to stay vigilant against all types of security threats – whether they occur online or offline.


The Benefits of Tailgating

Tailgating is often seen as a security threat in the cyber world, but it can actually have some benefits. For instance, tailgating allows for seamless entry into secured areas without having to undergo time-consuming or inconvenient security checks. This can save valuable time for employees who need to move quickly between different parts of a building.

Additionally, tailgating can help foster a sense of community and collaboration within an organization. When employees are able to enter secure areas with ease, they are more likely to interact with one another and form personal connections that can lead to improved work relationships.

Another benefit of tailgating is its ability to improve emergency response times. In the event of an emergency situation such as a fire or natural disaster, being able to quickly evacuate large groups of people from secure areas can be crucial. By allowing authorized personnel easy access out of these areas through tailgating procedures, response times can be greatly reduced.

While there are certainly risks associated with tailgating in cyber security, it’s important not to overlook the potential benefits that this practice can offer when implemented safely and responsibly.

Types of Tailgating in Cyber Security

There are different types of tailgating that can happen in the context of cyber security. One type is physical tailgating, where an unauthorized person gains access to restricted areas by following behind an authorized person without presenting their own credentials.

Another type is digital tailgating, which involves gaining access to a computer or network by piggybacking on someone else’s login credentials. This can happen when someone leaves their computer unattended and another person uses it without permission.

Social engineering is also a form of tailgating in cyber security. It involves manipulating people into giving up sensitive information or granting access to restricted areas through psychological tactics such as deception, persuasion or coercion.

There’s remote tailgating which happens when attackers remotely gain control over a system using malware, phishing emails or exploiting vulnerabilities in software systems.

Understanding these different types of tailgating can help individuals and organizations better protect themselves against potential threats and breaches. By being aware of the various methods used by attackers, one can implement appropriate measures to prevent them from happening.

How to Tailgate in Cyber Security

How to Tailgate in Cyber Security

Tailgating is one of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access into a restricted area. To prevent this, there are several steps that individuals can take to tailgate safely.

Firstly, it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings and who is entering the area with you. If someone isn’t authorized or doesn’t have a valid reason for being there, don’t let them enter.

Secondly, consider implementing security measures such as key cards or biometric scanners. These can help ensure that only authorized personnel are allowed entry into secure areas.

Thirdly, educate employees on the importance of not holding doors open for others when entering secure areas. This might seem like common sense but it’s an easy mistake to make and could compromise security.

Regular security audits can help identify any vulnerabilities in your company’s physical security plan so they can be addressed promptly.

By following these tips and remaining vigilant at all times, businesses can significantly reduce their risk of becoming victims of cybercrime due to tailgating attacks.

How to Tailgate Safely

When it comes to tailgating in cyber security, safety is crucial. Here are some tips on how to tailgate safely.

Firstly, always be aware of your surroundings and who is around you. It’s easy for someone to slip in behind you when you’re entering a secure area, so make sure that the person behind you has their own access key or ID card.

Secondly, never share your credentials with anyone. This includes passwords and access keys. Keep them safe and secure at all times.
Tailgating in Cyber SecurityThirdly, always report suspicious behavior to security personnel immediately. If someone is acting strangely or trying to follow you into a secure area without proper credentials, don’t hesitate to alert those in charge.

Fourthly, use physical barriers if possible. A turnstile or gate can help prevent unauthorized entry into a restricted area.

Ensure that everyone within your organization understands the importance of tailgating safety protocols and follows them consistently. By doing so, we can reduce the risk of cyber attacks caused by social engineering tactics such as tailgating.



Tailgating is a serious threat to cyber security that can go unnoticed if not addressed properly. This practice, although seemingly harmless, could lead to data breaches and other forms of cybercrime.

In this article, we have defined what tailgating in cyber security means, its history, benefits, types as well as how to tailgate safely. We have also highlighted the importance of implementing measures such as using access control systems and educating employees on the dangers of tailgating.

It is important for every organization to take necessary steps towards preventing unauthorized access by promoting awareness and enforcing strict security policies. With these measures in place and with proper vigilance from everyone involved in an organization’s cybersecurity efforts, we can reduce the risks associated with tailgating.

As technology continues to advance rapidly and more organizations are becoming digitized – it is imperative that businesses prioritize their cybersecurity posture against all potential threats including social engineering opportunists who rely heavily on tactics like “tailgating”. Remember: always be vigilant; your safety is paramount!


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