Turnstile tailgating, sometimes also referred to as “piggybacking”, can lead to compromised security of personnel, assets, and information. In the age of electronic and cyber security attacks, it is important to remain vigilant about physical security breaches, too.
Wittenbach and our trusted security partners like Hamilton not only understand the best practices around turnstile installation and maintenance, but how to ensure that they’re used correctly and provide the optimal security and traffic control experience. Read on to learn more about turnstile systems, and the ways that your organization can prevent tailgating.
How to turnstiles work, and what is the risk of tailgating?
At their core, turnstile systems equip facilities with an entrance control barrier, determining whether entry should be permitted, and keeping usage counts. In office buildings, a turnstile with a built-in key card reader can provide entry and exit privileges strictly to employees, even determining further access to elevator banks and other floors. In sporting venues and event centers, turnstiles can have native ticket-scanning features, can control the flow of foot traffic, and can tally attendance. In government buildings and airports, turnstiles can provide a layer of security while guiding entrants to the correct office or terminal. In the context of subways and other transportation hubs, turnstiles again count patrons but can also enforce payment. The list of applications goes on, and it is easy to take inventory of your frequent personal interactions with turnstiles—although in some cases, their design may be sleek and inconspicuous enough to feel like a natural element of building entry.
Turnstile tailgating is accomplished by social engineering, when an intruder follows someone else closely or convinces them to provide access, gaining entry into somewhere they are not permitted to be. Fastech Solutions explains some potential tailgating scenarios, saying, “Usually, this is something that starts out innocently. An employee may hold the door open for someone behind them in an effort to be courteous. Or, they may not realize that the door did not close after they walked through it. Even though this is rarely something intentional, it can open the building to undocumented or unauthorized individuals.” Tailgating opportunities may also be unintentionally created by third-party providers such as construction or delivery workers who prop a door open while managing their tasks.
There are some instances in which tailgating is NOT a threat, such as letting someone into a building lobby, or holding a door for a close coworker whose hands are full. However, in most cases, tailgating does present some risks. Property, data, and even staff can be at risk when an unauthorized intruder enters the premises through tailgating. Depending on your business type, an intrusion may also cause client distrust, a separate and costly problem.
Three main ways to prevent turnstile tailgating
Training your employees, including everyday personnel and specialized security guards, is the first line of defense against tailgating. When those on your team know how to conduct themselves when going through a turnstile, they can prevent issues and also learn not to feel guilty when telling a stranger that they can’t provide them access to your building space, no matter how pleasant and amicable that stranger may seem. Also, make sure your security plan includes a place for employees to report attempted tailgating.
Video surveillance systems can deter criminals from trying to tailgate or piggyback. If they know they’re being watched by cameras, they are much less likely to try and infiltrate your building. The most leading-edge surveillance system is the NVR or network video recorder; Wittenbach’s partner Verint manufactures the EdgeVR 300, which uses high-resolution IP cameras and wireless internet to capture surveillance footage in virtually any and every corner of your building.
Managing users within your access control system means ensuring that only those in your business who should have access to your space actually do. Access control systems straddle the line between electronic and physical security, using a control panel and reader to verify a user’s credentials and determine whether they should have access to a certain building or zone. By managing your users properly and promptly, you ensure that scenarios are prevented such as former employees entering via unauthorized means, or letting others in who should not have access.
Turnstiles tailored to your business
Security manufacturer Hamilton’s parent company Gunnebo is an extensively experienced maker of turnstiles, and their website outlines all of the different models that they create to fit the appropriate setting. All of these can be protected from tailgating using the methods discussed above.
- Speed Gates: Customizable entrance security for public and commercial buildings.
- Tripod Turnstiles: A compact, cost-effective entrance solution with low power consumption and high reliability.
- Full-Height Turnstiles: Internal and external turnstiles where there is a need for a high degree of security without manned monitoring.
- Half-Height Turnstiles: Entrance Gates designed to combine smooth operation with uncompromised security. Ideal for buildings where style and design are important.
- Revolving Doors: Motorized revolving doors for high profile buildings requiring high security.
- High-Security Doors: Certified blast and ballistics protection to safeguard people and property at high-risk sites.
- Interlocking Doors: Access control and protection against blasts, ballistics, and other forms of attack.
- Airport Security Gates: Move airline passengers quickly through pre-security to the boarding gate while maintaining high levels of security.
- Mass Transit Gates: Reduce delays and accelerate passenger throughput with fast and secure ticket validation for mass transit networks.
- Retail Turnstiles: Point of Sale mechanic and motorized swing gates to guide and control the flow of shoppers at retail outlets.
The risks of tailgating at turnstiles can prove costly when your business is unprepared. However, when you install a modern turnstile system and employ the tips above, as well as a healthy common sense, you can greatly reduce would-be criminals’ chances to tailgate and complete a breach or theft. Contact Wittenbach to get started on your turnstile project today; we’re ready to help you select the right model and install it without interrupting your daily flow of business.