Proprietary vs. Contract Security Companies: What Are Their Pros and Cons?

Proprietary vs. Contract Security Companies: What Are Their Pros and Cons?

Understanding the differences between in-house (proprietary) security and contract security allows business owners and property managers to choose the most suitable security solution. Your choice choice can significantly impact the effectiveness (and cost) of your security measures.

In general, proprietary security are full-time guards you hire yourself for your company while contract security guards are the ones you get when hiring the services of a private security company.

But how do you choose which one will benefit your business most and meet your specific needs? This blog on proprietary vs. contract security companies will discuss the differences between the two including their pros and cons as well as insights on how to choose the right one for your business.

Scout Security is a contractual security company providing hybrid security solutions in the Denver Metro and Colorado Springs areas. Our services include static security, mobile security, fire watch, hotel security, and more. Book a consultation now!

Side-By-Side Comparison: Key Differences Between Proprietary & Contract Security

Key Differences Between Proprietary & Contract Security

Here is a summary of the key differences between contract and proprietary security based on 3 main factors:

Proprietary SecurityContract Security
CostSignificant investments in the hiring process, salary, benefits, equipment, training, etc.You only pay for the services you need and the contract company will handle all tasks associated with recruitment, training, etc.
Customization & FlexibilityAllows for a high degree of customization (security protocols, guard duties & responsibilities, etc.) but with a heavier managerial burdenLess customizable but more flexible in terms of scaling services up or down to cater to your changing needs
Expertise & ResourcesYou will shoulder the recruitment, training, and professional development of your security teamHire rigorously trained and certified security guards who have passed a rigorous screening process by the security firm along with advanced security equipment

Also Read: How to Hire a Security Guard Company: 7 Factors to Consider When Hiring Security Guards

Proprietary Security vs Contract Security: Definitions

Proprietary Security vs Contract Security: What are Proprietary & Contractual Security Services?

Below is an overview of the differences between in-house and contract security:

What is a Proprietary Security Service?

In proprietary security, also called in-house security, you have complete control over the security guards including the hiring process, training, management, security protocols, and others.

Proprietary security guards are integrated into your company’s culture and have a dedicated interest in your organization’s safety and security. They operate as your employees rather than contractors.

However, the control and customization offered by proprietary security come at the cost of a heavier financial and managerial burden. You will know why later as we explain its pros and cons.

What is a Contractual Security Service?

These are services operated by professional security companies that contract services to businesses like you.

Contractual security is when you hire security officers from a third-party agency that allows you to leverage their expertise, technological prowess, and adaptability outside your direct control. Hiring them lifts the burden of the costly and time-consuming process of managing security personnel.

Also Read: 15 Top Qualities of a Good Security Guard: Skills to Look For

Pros & Cons of Proprietary Security Services

Advantages of Proprietary Security Services

Advantages of Proprietary Security Services

#1. Greater Control & Oversight: The Biggest Advantage of In-House Security

Proprietary security gives you more control over your security policies and procedures. With direct oversight, you can swiftly address security issues in-house and integrate your security team with other key areas of your operations to ensure a cohesive and efficient approach.

Aside from policies, you can also recruit, train, and manage your security staff according to your specific requirements and company culture to make sure that they are aligned with your company goals. For instance, you can train them for highly specialized situations and to enforce policies the way you want.

#2. Training Multi-Skilled Security Personnel

Integrating physical security, administrative, and operational skills into your security personnel training programs allows you to create multi-skilled guards who can do almost any task you want them to do. This enhances the versatility and efficiency of your security team along with undivided dedication to the protection of your assets, properties, and employees.

Also Read: 15 Different Types of Security Guards & What They Do: A Guide for Property Managers

#3. Cultural Integration

Because proprietary guards are part of your organization, they will understand your company culture, values, and objectives better which can enhance their effectiveness in handling security issues.

#4. Employee Loyalty

Proprietary security officers foster a unique sense of familiarity within your organization as they become a common sight around your premises. This also provides comfort to your staff and customers as well as builds a deeper connection with whoever they are tasked to protect.

In addition, security officers who feel like they’re part of your team are more dedicated and loyal with a strong commitment to you and your property’s safety that goes beyond a paycheck.

#5. Guard Retention

By managing recruitment, salaries, benefits, and policies yourself, you can cultivate a positive team culture that mirrors your core values. This encourages a sense of stability that helps boost performance and enhance staff retention. The guards’ heightened loyalty and dedication leads to continuity of service that aims to safeguard a community they’re deeply integrated into.

Also Read: When Should You Hire Short-Term or Temporary Security Guards?

Disadvantages of Proprietary Security Services

Disadvantages of Proprietary Security Services

#1. Higher Costs: The Main Drawback of Proprietary Security

Proprietary security services are more expensive compared to contract security. Hiring an in-house security team means you will be the one paying for the hiring process, salaries, benefits, training, and necessary equipment.

Moreover, there are ongoing costs you need to consider for your guards’ continuous development including certifications and licensing. The considerable managerial effort and resources needed add more to these expenses. This makes proprietary security a costly option for smaller businesses.

#2. Greater Legal Liabilities

Legal liabilities are a major concern in the security industry that operates in dangerous situations.

Hiring in-house guards means shouldering various legal responsibilities including workers’ compensation and potential lawsuits caused by hiring incompetent guards.

This is why it is important to perform background checks on your candidates before hiring security personnel. Given these issues, many businesses outsource security guards from private companies to reduce costly liabilities and delays caused by these disruptions.

#3 Administrative & Management Responsibilities

Since in-house security guards are integrated into your payroll and subjected to your company protocols, managing them adds to the complexity of your operations.

Aside from being time-consuming, you will need to allocate resources for the hiring process, training, and ongoing management. You will also need to address performance issues and make necessary personnel changes which can take longer compared to outsourcing from a third-party security agency.

Moreover, it is not easy to scale your security team to meet your ever-changing needs which could leave your company vulnerable during these times.

Also Read: 12 Top Duties & Responsibilities of a Security Guard

Pros & Cons of Hiring a Contract Security Company

Advantages of Contract Security Services

Advantages of Contract Security Services

#1. Flexibility & Scalability: The Biggest Advantage of Contract Security

The flexibility and scalability of contract security services help in addressing the fluctuating needs of your company. 

Contract security services bring a blend of flexibility, efficiency, and quality in their security services. Security personnel can be easily scaled up for special events or ramped down during less dangerous situations to ensure that your resources are efficiently allocated.

Moreover, contract security companies, such as Scout Security, offer customized security solutions that are tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. We specialize in selecting highly qualified personnel with the required expertise to meet the demands of your industry.

#2. Cost-Effectiveness

Hiring contract security means avoiding the hidden costs and financial burden of recruitment, training, insuring, equipping, and managing the payrolls of your security personnel because contract security providers will handle these for you.

You won’t need to worry about uniform expenses, overtime pay, and equipment upkeep costs which significantly reduces your long-term financial outlay. You will also save time and money on the development and implementation of security protocols.

#3. Reduced Legal Liability & Risks

You can transfer the liabilities and risks associated with security enforcement to your contracted security partner.

Security firms are required to have comprehensive insurance to protect them against the risks and liabilities caused by incidents involving their personnel. Although this does not include lawsuits you will face in case of your negligence, hiring fully insured security companies (such as Scout Security) helps in avoiding these costly legal issues.

Also Read: How Can Uniformed Security Guards Deter Crime in Your Business?

#4. Access to Diverse Expertise & Technology

You will have access to a wide array of expertise and cutting-edge technology offered by private security service providers.

We offer extensive experience across various industries that allow us to offer state-of-the-art and tailored security solutions to any business. Our specialized training programs and the latest security technologies ensure that our guards are well-equipped to handle various security challenges.

We have numerous certified security professionals who are available 24/7 to give you skilled manpower who can perform a variety of tasks from threat identification and access control to mobile patrols for the hospitality, industrial manufacturing, and construction industries.

#5. Reduced Administrative Burden

As we’ve mentioned, choosing contract security services eliminates the tedious tasks of hiring, training, and managing security personnel. This allows you to focus on the core operations of your business while speeding up the process of establishing a comprehensive security presence. Thus, enhancing overall productivity, efficiency, and security.

Also Read: 10 Benefits of Hiring a Security Guard to Protect Your Business

Disadvantages of Contract Security Services

Disadvantages of Contract Security Services

#1. Less Control: The Main Drawback of Contract Security

You will need to sacrifice direct control over your security operations including recruitment, training, and protocol establishment. But, this is nothing to worry about because we have security professionals who can assist you in identifying vulnerabilities in your security plan so we can create a customized solution that meets your requirements.

#2. High Guard Turnover

Many contracting security services also have high rates of guard turnover. Frequent personnel changes introduce instability and affect the effectiveness of security operations. This is why you need to be careful in choosing a security service provider to partner with to avoid these problems.

In Scout Security, we pay our guards well not only to improve employee retention but also to encourage them to give their best in providing you unparalleled services.

Also Read: How to Increase Business Security With a 24-Hour Guard

Why Should You Choose a Contract Security Company?

Why Should You Choose Contract Security Company?

An in-house security team forces you to divide your resources and time between your regular employees and guards. With contracted security partners, you can focus on improving your core business offerings and making money.

Leaving the laborious tasks of security management to us reduces your overhead expenses while still receiving comprehensive security services to deter criminal activities on your property. Thus, reducing costly damage to your business while improving your reputation and protecting your revenue.

Also Read:


Are contract and proprietary security the same?

No, proprietary or in-house security guards are the ones you hire, manage, pay, and train yourself. For contract security, you only need to hire the services of a private security provider and leave the administrative and managerial tasks to them.

What is a contract security?

Contract security refers to sourcing personnel from an outside contractual security firm that will provide security services through guards that they hire, train, supervise, and manage themselves.

What does proprietary mean in security?

Proprietary security, also called in-house security, is when you have full control and ownership of all security aspects from recruitment and personnel management to the development of security protocols.

What are the cons of proprietary security?

Proprietary security leads to more financial burdens due to the time, cost, and resources needed to establish a security team from scratch. A contract security company can handle all of these tasks for you.


Your choice of whether to choose proprietary security or contract security companies will highly depend on your security risks, budget constraints, and strategic direction. Choose proprietary security if you prioritize direct control, customization, and the integration of security into your company culture. Conversely, hire private security guards if you seek cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and access to high-standard security expertise.

Scout Security can help you identify your short-term and long-term security requirements through a comprehensive risk assessment. Thus, guaranteeing that you get robust security solutions customized to meet your security needs in the Denver Metro and Colorado Springs areas. Contact us now!

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