The audacity of “professional burglars” is a stark reminder of the vital importance of effective building security.
In a book about her adventures, Jenny Radcliffe (aka “The Character Hack”) shows how easy it is to enter unauthorized areas by adopting a friendly demeanor and dressing convincingly clothing (such as a high-vis jacket), and often carry something seemingly innocuous, such as a clipboard or even a ladder!
Radcliffe’s pursuits are all about raising security awareness. But there are probably many equally friendly and humble people whose intentions are not in the greater public good. No building, no matter how safe it may appear, cannot be complacent.
Tools are only as effective as the people who use them. Radcliffe’s book discusses the frequent use of tailgating and collusion by burglars at security gates. While stalking is a known security threat, the danger posed by the collusion of workers with authorized access cannot be ignored.
Tailgating or piggybacking is the unauthorized following of someone through an open door. Even when there is no intent to deceive or cause harm, followers are at fault and can expose employees and assets to unknown risks from outside agents.
Collusion is when individuals knowingly allow unauthorized persons to gain access through a secure point, bypassing security measures. While the cause could be innocent or as simple as someone forgetting their keycard and temporarily borrowing a co-worker’s keycard, again, a system that allows this could leave you vulnerable.