Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

November 2019

Know the Dangers of Unauthorized Entry

By Dave Ramont

Following another vehicle too closely is described as ‘tailgating.’ But in the security realm, when someone who lacks proper authentication seeks entry to a restricted area by simply walking in behind someone who is authorized, this is also termed ‘tailgating.’ The authorized person may unknowingly do this, or might even innocently hold the door open for the unauthorized intruder, who may even be wearing a uniform.

Recently, Boon Edam Inc.—specialists in security entrances and revolving doors—shared the results of a survey that examined the security risks associated with tailgating. Many security professionals feel that this simple breach can pose a critical threat, even while tailgating is often overlooked.

In all, more than 185 end-users and security advisers in the United States and Canada took part, responding to eight multiple-choice questions. Respondents were asked for their perspectives pertaining to the risk of tailgating breaches, and they were also posed questions to learn about their perceptions regarding tailgating vulnerability within a facility vs. across various industries.

Nearly 70% of all respondents believe that security breaches due to tailgating are either holding steady or increasing, based on what they’ve observed in the media over the past decade. Forty-three percent of end-users thought that trends were increasing, while only 35% of security advisers believed this. A majority of respondents—77%—said that “guards and barriers” and “unmanned barriers that prevent tailgating” are useful strategies in preventing this breach, though only 18% of end-user respondents said they were utilizing these options, which might include turnstiles or security doors.

When it comes to the impact of a tailgate breach, 8% of end-users believe the cost of violent crime or theft due to tailgating is insignificant, while none of the security advisers believed this. However, 54% of end-users and 72% of security advisers believe the cost of a breach could be $500,000 up to “too high to measure.”

Most end-user respondents according to the survey realize their facilities are vulnerable to physical infiltration. And 78% of them are taking measures to deal with tailgating, which might include using an access control system, guards, cameras and video management software. However, while 71% believe they are vulnerable to these physical breaches, 74% fail to track tailgating.

The survey illustrates that security advisers seem to feel that the potential impact of tailgating breaches are more serious than their end-user clients. Sixty-three percent of security advisers said they discuss ways to mitigate the risk of tailgating with their clients—including security entrances—with 68% adding that they discuss means to comply with industry regulations.

Valerie Anderson president of Boon Edam Inc., said the survey shows that security end-users and advisers in the Americas see tailgating as a threat that is growing, and more needs to be done to address it. “Also, the cost of tailgating breaches is seen as potentially very expensive to priceless. This indicates there will be continued investments in tailgating prevention at facilities in the coming years.”

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