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Hackers are on the Offensive: The Dangers of Tailgating


Have you ever tailgated before? We’re not talking about standing around in a football stadium parking lot with a group of friends. We’re talking about physically following an authorized person into a secure location.

Tailgating Defined

TechTarget defines tailgating as, “a physical security breach in which an unauthorized person follows an authorized individual to enter a secured premise.”

As exceptional human beings, we take our manners seriously, so when it comes to holding doors, of course we’re going to hold it open for the person behind us. Even though it’s the polite thing to do, holding the door open can be dangerous. Just ask Hodor from HBO’s Game of Thrones. He definitely wasn’t going to hold the door open for white walkers, so you shouldn’t hold the door open for strangers! John Doe from Shiver Me Pictures can also attest to that.

John Doe’s Story

John is an employee at Shiver Me Pictures – a pirate-themed photography studio. He’s been on the film team for six months and he absolutely loves it. He’s the first to test out every new camera that’s shipped to the studio and, boy, do they arrive often.

John greets Jane and Richard at least once a week as they deliver packages to the studio. They’ve been delivering cameras to Shiver Me Pictures since the start of the company and John’s gotten to know them well. He’s even snapped a few photos of them next to the kraken cut-out by the front door!

One mid-morning in October, John is hurrying to Shiver Me Pictures after a doctor’s appointment. He was going to be late after a piece of glass got stuck in his tire and it blew. It took John ages to change it. He wasn’t handy with anything other than a camera.

Just as John is about to bustle through the front door, he notices a delivery man walking towards Shiver Me Pictures. Jane and Richard have key cards to get into the studio because they deliver cameras so often, but this man does not. Jane and Richard must be out sick or taking a personal day, John thought, so he waited.

“Good morning!” John says as he holds the door open for the new delivery man.

“Morning,” the man responds. “Thanks for holding the door.”

“No problem!” John exclaims and hurries to the prop room.

Later, John’s boss, Susie Q, rushes into the prop room where John has been painting barnacles on a wooden ship since his arrival and shouts, “We’ve been robbed, John. Robbed!”

John looked bewildered. “What?”

“It’s awful isn’t it? All our cameras and laptops were stolen while I was doing a photoshoot, but I’m not sure how anyone got in. There was a lot of sensitive information on those laptops too!”

John’s stomach dropped. He knew what happened. The delivery man he let in wasn’t an actual delivery man… he was a thief!

What To Teach Your Employees

Tailgating is bound to happen to an employee at your company if it hasn’t already. AwareGO lists some key suggestions to teach your employees on how to prevent tailgating:

  • Don’t hold the door for anyone, even if they are in uniform
  • Stop people when they attempt to follow you into access restricted areas
  • Challenge people in the workspace if you don’t know them
  • Report suspicious characters to security
  • Direct guests who say they have a meeting to the reception
  • Close doors you know should be closed
  • Be constantly vigilant and aware of your surroundings
  • Be aware that thieves and hackers could be disguised as repairmen or delivery people
  • Former employees should not be allowed unchecked access within the company, even if they are your friends

Do you remember the number one rule you were taught as a child? Stranger danger. That’s the best rule to follow when going in and out of the office. If you see a stranger, don’t let them in. In the case that it’s a fellow employee you haven’t met and accidentally lock outside your building, apologies will be given and all will be well. Apologizing to an employee is a lot better than apologizing to your company after letting a thief or hacker inside to wreak havoc.

Staying up to date with the latest and greatest cyber news during Cybersecurity Month is essential for your business. At Involta, we want to make sure your company is safe and secure 24/7/365. Contact us to learn more about our security services. We’re here to help you Get There on your IT journey and protect you every step of the way.

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