Private Security Landscape

Part
01
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Part
01

Private Security Landscape

Private security mainly entails the hiring of additional security detail such as personal bodyguards, armed guards, unarmed guards and some go as far as providing data and cybersecurity. The world of private security is estimated at $180bn with more than 8,000 security companies in the US alone. Our research focuses mainly on the leading private security firms globally.

1. G4S

2. Allied Universal

3. Securitas

4.Booz Allen Hamilton

  • Booz Allen Hamilton is private security and consulting firm.
  • Its headquarters is at McLean, Virginia.
  • Their website is; https://www.boozallen.com/
  • Booz Allen works closely with the U. S government, the US Navy, The Internal Revenue Service
  • Booz Allen is a top security firm owing to the fact that it is trusted and contracted by the US government and other high net worth individuals in the energy, healthcare, and manufacturing sector. It also boasts clients from the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
  • The firm is also top in terms of revenue. In 2013 the firm had $5.8 billion in revenue, in 2018, the annual revenue stood at $6.2 billion.with an annual net income of $305.1 million.

Research Strategy.

To obtain accurate information for our research, we first analyzed information on top private security firms in the world from security magazines like securitysales.com and securitymagazine.com. This gave us a wide array of data to work with. In order for us to factor out some firms and stick to the industry leaders and those that serve high worth individuals and corporations, we further analyzed information on the company website to identify the type of clients they serve. It was evident that most of these firms do not name their clients. To further identify the clients, we checked posts and reviews from publications such as The Washington Post, Forbes, and PRNewswire. We also checked their financial reports to get their annual revenues.

Part
02
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Part
02

Private Security Landscape, Pt. 1

Through the use of their company website, social media platforms and press releases, G4S USA positions itself as a worldwide leader in integrated security solutions and promotes their corporate social responsibility programs. Allied Universal focuses mainly on their positioning as the "largest private security services company in North America".

Private Security Company #1: G4S USA

a) Website

  • G4S uses their company website as their main communications channel, aimed at providing information to their customers, employees and shareholders.
  • Their website is designed to accommodate customers from around the world, with the option of clicking on the dropdown menu titled "Our Websites" to select the country of choice. The countries are broken down in the following regions: Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and North America.
  • There are also categories for other G4S global websites such as G4S PLC, Risk Management, AMAG Technology, G4S International Logistics, and G4S Risk Consulting.
  • The G4S USA homepage promotes their specialty, which is "integrated security solutions that mitigate risk and add value", and their products and services which include software and technology, risk consulting, systems integration, and security officers.
  • The homepage also claims that the company has over 9,000 customers, 13,000 monitored end points, 51,000 employees, from which 25% of them are veterans.
  • Their homepage header provides a slideshow of some of their most notable press releases, featuring topics such as industry news, their products and services, and awards and accolades. (s1, corroborated by s12)
  • G4S USA's "What We Do" page details the company's various services and highlights that they are a leader in nuclear security by stating that "G4S has conducted operations at every nuclear power plant in the United States and Mexico, using expertise and technology that greatly increases the ability to detect, assess, communicate and prevent or neutralize threats."
  • The G4S USA Careers page highlights that the company is the "world's leading integrated security solutions company" and provides information about career opportunities.

b) Social Media

  • The G4S LinkedIn page highlights their message as a leader in integrated security: "G4S is the leading global, integrated security company."
  • Most of the content on their LinkedIn page also promotes the company's solutions and services, innovation news, corporate social responsibility, employee highlights, and awards and accolades.
  • Their YouTube channel has a unique header tagline that states "Your security risk is complex. Our security capabilities are complete. Let's talk.", which focuses on promoting the G4S USA integrated securities capabilities.
  • Their videos cover topics such as offered services, information about their employees and security officers, and interviews with their executive officers.
  • Their Facebook page features G4S as the "leading global, integrated security company, specializing in the provision of security services and solutions to customers."
  • Facebook and other social media pages of G4S, like Instagram and Twitter, promote the company's solutions and services, awards and accolades, events and conferences they attended, corporate social responsibility programs, and employee highlights.

c) Press Releases

  • Their press release communications channel provides the latest news and information about the G4S USA, G4S as a whole and other industry news, with different category topics such as AMAG, announcements, awards and recognition, cash, communication networks, community investment, company statements, conferences, contract announcements, financial institutions, health and safety, hospital and healthcare, memberships and affiliations, personnel announcements, risk consulting, software and technology, and veterans.
  • Some of their featured press releases include " G4S Receives Industry Leader Award from the National Safety Council" and "AMAG’S Access Control System Named One of the Best Business Tools of 2019".

Allied Universal

a) Website

1) Homepage

  • Allied Universal's company website acts as their main communications channel for their customers and employees. They accommodate customers from the US, Canada, Mexico, and the UK, through the option of changing websites accordingly to their specific locations.
  • Allied Universal's homepage showcases a unique tagline of "There for you", and clearly that "For over 60 years, we have put safety and security first", focusing on their dedication for safety and security of their customers.
  • Their mission is "focused on leveraging manpower, data and technology to deploy smarter security for our customers".
  • They provided statistics about their 60 years of experience, 42,000+ sites served, and 200,000+ employees, which supports their statement of being "the largest private security services company in North America."
  • They also promote the career and life opportunities people will have if they choose to apply as security professionals in Allied Universal.
  • Their homepage displays a large video and multiple photos of security professionals to promote their services, Global Security Operations Center (GSOC), and technological innovations.

2) Our Services

  • Allied Universal's services page focuses primarily on their position as "the largest provider of security services in North America" and the "premier service provider" in the markets they serve.
  • They also highlight their business approach, which is "People, Equipment and Services for Your Organization's Security Needs," and their longevity in the security business.

3) Security Resources

4) Blog

  • Allied Universal's blogs focuses on topics such as emergency preparedness, home and personal safety, industry statistics, security awareness tips, security best practices, security contracting, security service tools, veterans, and workplace violence and safety.

5) Press Releases

  • Allied Universal's press releases focus on providing information about their performance in the market.
  • Their most recent press releases focus heavily on what Allied Universal is doing in the security landscape and their appreciation of military veterans. Some examples include "Allied Universal® Grows Integrated Solutions Technology Business; Acquires Chicago-Based Advent Systems, Inc.", "Allied Universal® Honors and Supports All Military Personnel; Hired More Than 33,000 Veterans Over the Last Five Years", and "Allied Universal® Expands Technology Services Division; Acquires Michigan-Based Midstate Security".

b) LinkedIn and Other Social Media

  • Allied Universal's LinkedIn page focuses on employee appreciation, veterans appreciation, career opportunities, and event updates. Overall, the message of the page is that through the combination of their "people and leading services, systems and solutions... Allied Universal is there for you."
  • Allied Universal's other social media pages, which include Facebook and Twitter, feature similar content to their LinkedIn page.
  • Their YouTube page showcases the header of "Allied Universal... There for you".
  • Allied Universal YouTube page focuses mainly on promoting their services; technological innovations such as the HELIAUS; and industry expertise such as Healthcare, Education, Vertical, and K-12 expertise. They also show their employee appreciation by highlighting the benefits and career opportunities.


Part
03
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Part
03

Private Security Landscape, Pt. 2

Using their website, a few social media platforms, and a knowledge center, the message of Securitas conveys that they are leaders in the security space with a worldwide reach and over 370,000 employees strong. Booz Allen Hamilton, on the other hand, uses more social media platforms, cover more industries and conveys the message that they are experts in a wide range of fields and markets worldwide and they empower people to impact the world.

Securitas

Website

  • One of the strategies used by Securitas to communicate to its clients is through its website. To accommodate clients worldwide, there is the option of clicking on a drop-down menu to select one's country, denoted by a flag and in so doing the language and other information would be changed to reflect that geographical location. In this case, USA was selected. Each country selected would produce a different look and layout but essentially similar content.
  • On the home page, Securitas positions itself as a leader in the industry. It provides snippets of information on Securitas as leaders in protective services, as it highlights the fact that the company has 370,000 employees worldwide and works with "companies of all sizes and industries."
  • It has a video of their mobile guarding service, featured content mainly about services they choose to highlight, a link to a survey, recent press releases, career opportunities with the brand, and the contact form. Overall, It appears that the aim of the home page is to give a sense of what can be found on the website overall. It acts as a summary page that can lead to various other pages including the "Who We Are", "What We Do", "Knowledge Center", "Contact Us", "Join Us" and Client Login pages.
  • The "Who We Are" page speaks to what Securitas does, their business approach, partnerships, responsibility (CSR) and specialty divisions. These pages are informative as they detail the nature of the services provided by Securitas. They demonstrate the scope of their business activities and level of commitment and involvement in giving back to the business community and sectors they protect.
  • The "What We Do" page looks at their various services such as On-site Guarding, Integrated Guarding, Remote Guarding, Risk Management, Electronic Security, Fire & Safety Services, Case Studies and Industry Events. Whilst the page is informative, it is also sends the message that they offer a wide range of services to cover every possible security issue or concern a customer may have.
  • Securitas' Knowledge Center primarily communicates the brand in the news, trends in security, featured resources, white papers, case studies and security, and safety tips. Here, Securitas is setting itself apart as leaders in relation to securing people and spaces affected by violence in the healthcare sector and the workplace in general. This can be seen in its white paper on "Substance Use and Abuse: The Road to Recovery for Employers", "Why Domestic Violence Becomes Workplace Violence", "Team Response to Violence in Healthcare," and "Healthcare Violence, an Epidemic Changing the Role of Security."
  • It's contact us page is unique as it maps out each of its locations within the country. Therefore, if Canada was selected as the country, the map would showcase all the states that the brand has operations along with their addresses and contact details.

Social Media

  • On LinkedIn, there are photos of what they do, and the statement "The Leader in Protective Services" is mentioned at the top of the page. The page then features the Securitas scholarship being offered to employees. Clearly, the first message is that they are leaders in security. However, overall the content targets the employees of the organization. The page speaks volumes about their interest in the career of the employees of the organization and want them to achieve these goals with some financial assistance through the company's scholarships.
  • Some highlights of the page include congratulating district managers, recognizing veterans and other employees in the organization. The about tab is similar to the website, in that it looks at the company, what it does, its success, locations, and company-related information. The life tab looks at its scholarship program, its partnership with Purdue, and photos of staff members who have graduated from training/university and the job tab focuses on the vacancies with the company while the people tab lists at all the employees registered with LinkedIn and are current employees.
  • The YouTube channel opens up with a video footage of Securitas' Remote Guarding service and its attempt to get an intruder off the property. All videos are similar, in that, they focus on the services the company provides as well as its jobs and career opportunities. On the playlist tab are videos under the following captions "Security Jobs & Career Opportunities", "Remote Guarding in Action", "Who's Your Match", "About Securitas: Our Company, History and Employees", and "Integrated Guarding".
  • So there is a theme that has been running throughout each platform, including the YouTube channel, that is, Securitas is a leader that cares about its employees and has a wide range of relevant services to secure the people they serve.

Press Releases

  • The press releases, although the target audience was similar, the emphasis was on their performance and the main audience was the industry in general and to a lesser extent its customers or employees. The company's most recent press releases focus heavily on what they are doing in the security landscape. Two of its recent releases highlighted the Interim Reports of their January to June and January to September 2019 performance targets and activities towards achieving them.
  • Securitas also communicates to the public, staff and investors partnerships it has. One such partnership mentioned in a press release is the relationship it has with the Purdue University. It also writes ad publishes articles on security. One such is the article on "2019 Top Security Threats ad Management Issues Facing Corporate America".

Booz Allen Hamilton

Website

  • Booz Allen Hamilton uses its website as a communication channel to discuss trends in the industry, highlight the work of its employees, and promote the performance of the company. The website features the company's expertise, the markets it serves, insights into the industry, job openings and general information about the organization.
  • The expertise page conveys a message of the experience of the company. It underscores how Booz is involved in consulting, analytics, digital solutions, engineering, cybersecurity and the products sold by the company. So whilst Securitas dives deep into the wide of security services it provides, Booz goes broad and touches a wide range of areas and industries.
  • Booz works in the national and international markets and covers the civil government, defense and intelligence, the commercial sector, energy, resources and utilities, finance, health, transportation, and homeland security. The message spurs confidence in the company especially since it mentions its "strategic ventures, partnerships and product offerings".
  • It's insights conveys a message of longevity, and experience in that, it talks about the company being around for over 100 years. We sell themselves as a company that is able to provide insights to all groups of business people regardless of their level or position.

Social Media

  • The LinkedIn page for Booz also showcases the work of its employees and veterans. It mentions vacancies of the company as well as the over 34,000 employees registered with LinkedIn. Overall the message of the page is that they are management consultants who "empower people to change the world."
  • Booz's Twitter page has information on the events of the organization to the which the public is being invited. They include discussions on various topics including data science chats, images of events being featured, invitation to tune in to programs being hosted by the company.
  • On Instagram, Booz highlights its expertise, that is, SXSW, consulting, cybersecurity, products, analytics, digital and engineering. The page pulls together all its posts into a collage that tells a story of the many things that they do and lives they are impacting, which includes, veterans, families, staff, men, women, those who call themselves "queer", business people and many others.

Media center

Research Strategy

Our research started with a review of each website, Securitas and Booz Allen. We reviewed the content looking for any key message being communicated. We then reviewed each social media platforms listed on the websites. During our review, we looked for themes that connect the website to their social media platforms and noted any similarities or differences in the message. Our research was relatively straightforward and both the message and the channels were explored and explained here.
Part
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Part
04

Top Private Security Concerns: HNWI

Personal security, kidnapping, and safety of physical property are some of the top private security concerns among high and ultra-high net worth individuals/families. Complete details about each top concern are presented below.

#1. Personal Security

Description

  • Personal security is a primary concern among high-net-worth individuals (HNWI). They are more susceptible to becoming victims of petty crime since they can afford to live a simple lifestyle.
  • High-net worth individuals/families opt for enhanced personal security for risk mitigation, lifestyle, and privacy.
  • When HNWI are out, they worry about their personal safety as they fear attacks and physical harm by strangers.

How/Why It is a Concern

  • Since many HNWI have made good earnings in their high-profile fields, such as entertainment or sports, or they are scions of established families, they will be well-known to all and can be approached by strangers.
  • Personal assault and stalking can often become a problem for HNWI when overly-enthusiastic fans try to follow and then catch a glimpse of their idols.

#2. Kidnapping

Description

  • Wealth and prominence of HNWI make them targets for kidnappers seeking ransoms.
  • Many HNWI have endured hideous events at the hands of criminals or individuals looking to make a quick buck by kidnapping their children or other family members.
  • In India, the threat of kidnapping wealthy families' children is high as children of the super-rich are seen as bargaining chips for a ransom. In the United States, kidnappings are less prevalent but are still a major concern for the ultra-wealthy.

How/Why It is a Concern

  • The motive behind the abductions of rich people revolves around money since wealthy people often prove to be famous targets for kidnapping.
  • Children of HNWI are often kidnapped by individuals and gangs for ransom to make quick money.

#3. Safety of Physical Property

Description

  • HNWI worry about money as much as everyone else and hence are making trapping mechanisms that lock intruders inside the house so they can’t flee before the authorities arrive.

How/Why It is a Concern

  • Burglaries are a common security concern for wealthy people, and so they employ preventive measures to keep their homes secure.
  • HNWI design homes for protection in cases of chemical attacks and include pop-up tents that are designed to provide a safe haven in cases of chemical-based intrusions.

Part
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Part
05

Top Private Security Concerns: Corporate Sector

Three of the top private security concerns among corporate executives or employees in volatile environments were location-related crime, concerns associated with medical risk, and concern arising from executive travel. Complete details are presented below.

Location-Related Crime

  • In terms of executives or employees traveling to other locations, Skydas Group International, a strategic security consulting and threat management firm, sees physical threats or dangers associated with a location as the most common reason that companies should hire security. These threats include a significant risk of kidnapping, crime, murder, or terrorism.
  • International SOS, a provider of medical and security assistance, found that of 3.5 million international trips taken by employees, 25% were to what the firm identified as high- or extreme-risk destinations.
  • A UK-based security company, Kingdom, also recognized location risks such as terrorism, assault, theft, injury, kidnapping, etc. to be private security concerns for employees traveling abroad.
  • Locations that are vulnerable to such threats include the Middle East, Latin America, and parts of Asia.

Medical Risk

  • As studied by Shelby LeMaire, a global travel manager at iRobot Corporation, a vast majority of the cases that many companies encounter while handling private security concerns for employees traveling abroad are medical cases.
  • According to LeMaire, one of the key things in these situations is to be able to respond promptly.
  • World Protection Group, a US-based executive security company, pre-vets medical providers and associated services in the locations where its executive clients are traveling, including private ambulances, hospitals, doctors, trauma centers, and medical evacuation, with backups and contingencies for each.
  • The work done by the World Protection Group in this arena also involves determining the fastest routes to these objectives, along with backup options, if necessary. As claimed by the company, all its executive protection agents are trained and certified in CPR, first aid and AED.

Executive Travel

  • Significant private security concerns also arise if the person traveling has a high profile. Such individuals are at risk of being discovered/known while outside the country and, therefore, produce the need of contracting additional security familiar with the local terrain that can work in tandem with a client's own security.
  • This is considered to be a top concern as most high profile CEOs, known worldwide, have been found spending significant amounts of money for their own security. Such examples include the following:
    • Amazon and Oracle spending about $1.6 million each in their most recent fiscal years to protect their CEOs Jeff Bezos and Larry Ellison.
    • Apple spending $310,000 on personal security for CEO Tim Cook.
    • Facebook spent $7.3 million on Mark Zuckerberg's security in 2017.

Additional Reasons

  • According to CWT Travel Management, security concerns for corporates traveling to other locations may also arise out of cultural misunderstandings, adverse weather, civil unrest, and unpredictable local laws.

Research Strategy:

To identify which were among the top concerns, we first looked for surveys/polls via specific media publications such as Security Magazine, Loss Prevention Media, and other global consultancies that often study market drivers (e.g., PWC, BCG, Gartner, Nielsen, etc.). Then, we analyzed several private security agencies such as World Protection Group, 001, Skydas, CWT, and Kingdom, among others, to research why clients hire them or why they think clients should hire them. This was combined with searches through corporate news publications (e.g., Wired and Business Insider) to find out relevant articles related to executive travel protection.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "USSA has evolved into one of the leaders in the security industry over the years and provides a unique suite of security solutions to a wide array of clients across industry verticals"
From Part 05
Quotes
  • "HIGH-RISK DESTINATIONS This is the simplest and most common reason that companies should hire security. While the most common business destinations are largely safe, conducting business in certain parts of the world come with significant risk of kidnapping, crime, murder, or terrorism. It’s impossible to list all the places right here, but trust in your country’s state department or destination embassy for information on potential threats. Discovering anything above low-risk should at least conclude with a conversation of whether private security would be prudent."
  • "HIGH-PROFILE INDIVIDUALS Another factor to consider is the person traveling. You know if you’re at risk of being discovered/known while outside the country, and if you’re likely to draw anything other than a cursory glance from passersby than there’s a good chance that pre-travel preparations should include figuring out security. Additionally, while your company may have their own security, contracting additional security familiar with the local terrain can work in tandem with your own embedded assets."
  • "YOUR BUSINESS IS DISRUPTING SOME STATUS QUO Maybe your business is hoping to open a new hotel on a controversial natural area. Perhaps your business is unknowingly interfering with local organized crime laundering scheme. There could even be some religious or ideological controversy surrounding your work. Countless different reasons exist that could have implications beyond what your organization is hoping to accomplish. Make sure to accurately consider second and third order effects of your company’s work abroad and, if there is any doubt of safety, that you start consulting with international or local security representatives."
Quotes
  • "After hitting a pause button several years ago, companies are back to sending employees on the road. According to the Global Business Travel Association, business travel will continue to spike in the years ahead, with growth between 5.8 and 6.9 percent through 2019."
  • "It’s tempting to let the prospect of capitalizing on the next hot global marketplace overwhelm security concerns. In a survey of clients, International SOS, a provider of medical and security assistance, found that of 3.5 million international trips taken by employees, 25 percent were to what the firm identifies as high- or extreme-risk destinations."
Quotes
  • "One of the things that people think of when they hear about risk abroad is something like the Paris attacks. I think a lot of companies think, ‘Oh, it’s not going to happen to us,’ but the vast majority of cases that any company is going to encounter are medical cases. We’ve encountered many medical situations as people have traveled abroad, and one of the key things is that you want to be able to respond to them in a timely matter."
Quotes
  • "International travel security also includes an assessment and mitigation of medical risk. The World Protection Group pre-vets medical providers and associated services in the locations where you are traveling, including private ambulances, hospitals, doctors, and trauma centers, and medical evacuation, with backups and contingencies for each. "
  • "Our advance work also determines the fastest routes to these objectives, along with backup options if necessary. In addition, all executive protection agents are trained and certified in CPR, First Aid and AED, and a medical kit will always be on the protection detail. We also have a strategic partnership with Penn Passport through Penn Medicine"