What Is the Difference Between Contract Security and in-House Security?

With in-house security, a business establishes its own security department to protect the employees, building and assets. In contract security, the business outsources security from a security company or agency.

In-house security may prove easier to control, as the security department is part of the business. The business can invest resources to train security personnel and make them aware of the business' security objectives. In-house security personnel are part of the business, and they may be more loyal and feel more invested in the security goals of the business. However, in-house security personnel may cost the business more in recruitment, training and salaries.

On the other hand, contract security personnel may allow a business to reduce its overhead costs. The security agency typically has its own security equipment, including patrol cars, uniforms and surveillance cameras. Consequently, the business does not have to recruit, train or screen any of the employees, as the security agency is responsible for this. However, hiring a contract security company leads to the business' management having less control over security matters. Since the business is working with a third party, it can be more difficult to communicate issues or to discipline officers who fail to properly perform their duties.