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The private security industry includes companies that provide private security guards and patrol vehicles and ancillary services such as alarm systems, armored transport, background screening, cybersecurity, investigation, and security consultancy services.

Security is a reference to protection from potential harm or coercion. Although it generally refers to protection from a hostile force, private security is sometimes engaged, by those who can afford it, for peace of mind.

Also known as security officers, security inspectors, factory guards, or protective agents, private security guards are employed by private parties, corporations, or government agencies to protect the employing party's assets from a variety of hazards, which may include crime, damages, unsafe behavior, or waste.

Security guards may accomplish their duties through patrol, by car, or by walking, or they might be stationed in a guard booth, at an entrance gate, or by monitoring alarm systems or video surveillance cameras.

Security guards differ from police officers in that they are employed to protect specific people and property, while the police protect the public and enforce laws. In other words, security guards represent private businesses and individuals, while police officers represent the government.

While many security guards have undergone the same training as police officers, others have not. In general, the level of training required of a security guard is less than that of a police officer.

Security police officers are employed by corporations or governmental agencies to provide security services to those properties. They protect facilities, properties, personnel, users, and visitors, and can enforce certain laws and administrative regulations. Security police differ from police in that they have limited arrest authority and a more limited focus.

Private security companies are businesses that provide armed or unarmed security services and expertise to clients in the public or private sectors.

Private investigators, also known as private detectives, are professionals who can be hired by individuals or groups to undertake investigatory law services. They may also be employed by attorneys in civil and criminal cases. Private investigators are also sometimes engaged as process servers, and others specialize in technical surveillance counter-measures, anti-fraud work, loss prevention, and internal investigations of employee misconduct.

Security consultants specialize in security risk management and technical security design. They work with public security officials, building owners, developers, architects, and security managers to ensure that people, property, businesses, and government facilities are secure, or protected against loss and injury.

Cybersecurity (computer security, digital security, information technology security) refers to the protection of computer systems and networks from attacks that may result in unauthorized disclosure of information, identity theft, computer hacking, or damage to software, hardware, or data. Due to the reliance on computer systems and the Internet, as well as the expanded use of smartphones and other devices connected to the Internet of Things, cybersecurity is a growing industry.

This category includes cybersecurity as an industry, although hardware and software solutions for Computer Security, such as Firewalls, Virtual Private Networks, Encryption, and Antiviruses are listed in the Computers & Internet section of our guide.

Private security and investigative agencies are essential to the security and safety of people and property, as well as intellectual property and sensitive corporate information, and are used in a wide range of markets, from commercial to residential.

Private security includes all types of private organizations and individuals who provide a wide range of security-related services, including guard services, alarm monitoring, investigation, armored transport, correctional facilities management, systems integration and management, security consulting, pre-employment screening, information technology, and cybersecurity.

Law enforcement personnel serve the public at large and are primarily engaged in enforcing laws, preventing crime, investigating crime, and apprehending suspects, while private security acts on behalf of private interests, owing allegiance to clients and employers.






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