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Factors Contributing to Rapid Security Industry Development


Over the last few decades, the security industry has seen a significant growth from what it used to be in the mid-20th century and beyond. This has been necessitated by the perception that the increased population and diminishing resources have led to increased crime. Besides, crime is perceived to have been increased by the availability of deadly and more sophisticated weapons (Ullman, 1983). Globalization has also contributed to the need to increase the security status of any country and firm. The opening up of borders for trade and access by foreign traders also pose a higher risk, which also necessitates the increase of the security status. Technology development has also had its share in the development of crime. High-tech crime has been developed through internet, which has taken the scope of security to a new level. Cyber and internet related crimes are today among the most widespread criminal activities. There were no such crimes back in 1950s. Furthermore, electronic money transfer had not been discovered, hence no mechanisms had been put in place to check fraud incidences. Today, a lot of money is being transferred electronically, leaving the financial firms at the risk of losing money when it is transacted (Tadjbakhsh & Chenoy 2007). As a result of these new developments, a new security scope had to be devised in order to reduce any chances of compromising the security status of a country, an institution or a company. Apart from these new forms of insecurity, the other old forms of crime such as theft, terrorism, and civil wars have persisted and still remain to be a source of concern. Therefore, there has been an urgent need to improve the state of security in the world.

Due to the above highlighted scenarios, the security industry has been forced to adopt better structures and policies, thus the abrupt development. As a result, new businesses have been opened up as there has been an increased need in security firms and private detectives to foresee crimes. Step by step, security has been privatized and not entirely left to the governments, as it used to be in the earlier years. Such unprecedented changes have led to the rapid security industry development.  However, the private security firms entirely depend on the national security status. For instance, Syrians are not able to open up security firms at the present because their government structures have failed and recurring wars are inevitable.

Theoretical Developments in Relation to Risk and Security

Traditionally, there was a perception that the national security was the most important aspect in any country. It was considered that the total national security, which meant zero interference from terrorists and other nations, would eventually translate into the safety of the citizens of that particular state. This was known as the realist theory (Tadjbakhsh & Chenoy 2007). This theory was highly popular during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union were the superpowers. The theory remained valid as the superpowers ensured the security of all the other nations. When the war came to an end, a discovery was made: concentration on the national security was not an automatic reassurance of the security of the citizens. It emerged that, apart from the external invasions, which were the primary avoidance in the traditional set up, there were other more important issues that needed to be addressed to assure citizens of their security. It emerged that there were internal conflicts and other sources of insecurity that had been overlooked for all this time. Leaders discovered that there were civil wars, crimes, as well as economic insecurities that had been neglected as emphasis had been laid on the national security. It was then that the various governments realized that, to ensure the security of the citizens, it was necessary to start with the internal security before focusing on the national security. Furthermore, it was agreed that there was the need for different nations to come together and try to curb insecurities. In the process, Interpol was created, which ensured that information regarding criminals was passed across the borders in order to allow arrests of criminals in any country. The international police have derived many benefits from the new technology developments; Internet, photos, video and audio recordings have been of great help (Morgan, 2007). However, this same technology has become a derailing factor to investigations since criminals start using it to mislead the police.


It has been divided into classical realism and neorealism (Wohlforth, 2010). Classical realism was developed by the ancient Greeks and Chinese. It focused on the national security organs that a nation needed to put in place to ensure that the citizens were free from risks. It insisted that poor international policies are the main contributors to poor lives of the people in certain countries (Morgan, 2007). In this case, classical realism theory distinguishes three main factors that lead to the improvement of the security of a nation. They include egoism, power-centrism, and groupism (Wohlforth, 2010). The three shape up the environment where the policies are developed.

Neorealism was developed to counter the increased criticism on realism. It was developed by Ken Waltz, who changed the approach of classical realism. He proposed that the top-down approach towards security had to be reversed to be a bottom up approach. The new approach was known as neorealism (Wohlforth, 2010). He developed the theory of International politics, which attempted to relate all the states and their activities with the way they eventually interacted (Morgan, 2007).  As it is pointed out in The Oxford Handbook of International Relations (2008):

Neorealism answers questions: Why the modern states-system has persisted in the face of attempts by certain states at dominance; why war among great powers recurred over centuries; and why states often find cooperation hard. In addition, the book forwarded one more specific theory: that great-power war would tend to be more frequent in multipolarity (an international system shaped by the power of three or more major states) than bipolarity (an international system shaped by two major states, or superpowers) (p. 137).

Due to the interaction between states, the neorealism theory has been developed under several other theories, such as the theory of balance of power, theory of balance of threat, theory of security dilemma, theory of offense-defence, theory of hegemonic stability, and theory of power transition.


This theory is based on the belief that constitutions that are biased in favour of republicanism would always result into a peaceful nation. It is divided into economic liberalism and liberal institutionalism. According to the economic liberalism, the economic relations between nations are the key factor that would determine their co-existence. When there is economic hostility, insecurity is more likely to be there. Some writers even argued that the openness obtained from economic interdependence was more important in creating peace than democracy. In this case, the process of globalization can be ranked highly as a factor that has increased the economic ties between nations and led to eventual peace.

Liberal institutionalism considers the use of international institutions as the main method that can be used to reduce international conflicts (The Oxford Handbook of International Relations, 2008). Non-governmental organizations and other institutions that have been formed by collective governments would be important in reducing the conflicts between nations. They would act on a partisan basis and serve as initiators and facilitators for a dialogue whenever international conflicts arise (Morgan, 2007).

Security Policy Developments

New security policies are developed whenever there is a need to do so. These policies ensure that there is enough resources and infrastructure to cater for any growing concern in regard to security (Tadjbakhsh & Chenoy 2007). New bodies are created, while the jurisdiction and mandate of existing ones are increased. Whenever need arises, there are new technologies that are introduced to help the security enforcers to counter criminal activities. This process has been vital in the development of the security industry, and there is a need to have these policies revised every time new innovations are made.

Before and during the First and Second World Wars, the policies that guided various governments were based on physical attacks using weapons such as guns and land mines (Tadjbakhsh & Chenoy 2007). The policies were aligned to this because there was no other way people could conflict with their political foes. This slightly changed during the Cold War, when the political and economic powers took charge. As a result, both economic and physical wars were declared. At that time, the security personnel were guided by policies that restricted movement of goods across certain borders as well as ensured that some people never entered certain regions (Tadjbakhsh & Chenoy 2007).

As the population dynamics increasingly changed, resources diminished, and technology was revolutionized, new policies that would address these new developments were put in place. An exchange of information across the world has become a very important security tool. This has led to the emergence of global police networks that share information about gangs and terrorists. Interpol is a good example of such an organization. It exchanges information across borders, which allows arresting criminals from any country in the world. On top of this, there are international justice systems that are geared towards protecting the people from their leaders (The Oxford Handbook of International Relations, 2008). These systems prosecute people who are involved in fuelling ethnic fights. A good example of such a system is the International Criminal Court, ICC, which has its headquarter at The Hague, Netherlands. Furthermore, to reduce access to someone’s private information, data backups are located in different parts of the world. The privacy of a person using any of these technological innovations has to be guaranteed. Some of the new methods of tracking down criminals have to be incorporated in the policies. The use of CCTV and RFID technologies has been highly criticized by the privacy crusaders, while they are highly used due to their efficiency.

Policy development is, therefore, among the most important factors in ensuring the status of security in the world today. It provides answers to questions that, otherwise, would have been incomprehensible.

Practical Security Developments

Technology has been a vital part in the development of security. This is because the scope of security has reached a higher level and now incorporates the security of information, cyber fraud and other technology related criminal cases. By 2004, it was estimated that the security related products in the market could be valued at about $ 15 billion. These are sophisticated and accurate devices and programs of high efficiency. Computer security products alone were valued at around $4 billion. Since 2004, the sector has been growing at a 7-8% every year. The largest gainers were the biometrics, Radio Frequency Identification- RFID as well as computer related security providers. In this field, the closed circuit television or, CCTV, is a leading example.


This is one of the most effective methods that security experts have decided to use in order to limit access. It involves the use of parts of the body for identification. This method has been in use since 1980, and it is being developed currently as the need increases. Unique parts of the body are used to identify the person and either deny or grant access. Some of the most popular are fingerprints, face, retina, iris, and voice. Thus, for example, a system in the door or an access point is set to allow only the identified person to access a building or premises. It has been used in senior security places such as VIP premises. Some experts argue that there is still potential in this technology development. Recently, there were many scandals and disputes over the use of biometrics as people have developed a way to use false parts to access the restricted areas. Therefore, the way of identification of these parts needs to be improved. Despite the fact that this method has its setbacks, there are many obstacles on the way to its improvement since there is the need to observe the rights to privacy. The public may also be resistant to such high scrutiny such as leaving fingerprints as they wonder where else their prints can be used. Therefore, an approach that would allow the improvement of the technology but keep the privacy of citizens must be taken. At the same time, the public must be well convinced that the information they offer would be treated with utmost confidentiality and in accordance with the initial agreements. Today, these systems are widely used in the world. They mark a major security innovation since the late 20th century and such issues as the use of false parts will be eventually dealt with effectively.

Radio Frequency Identification Systems (RFID)

These systems are mainly used to track down the movement of products or vehicles (McDonald, 2008). They are used by firms to determine the position of merchandise or the behaviour of a consumer. Tags placed in a commodity are used to track the movement of the commodity. RFIDs are also used in tracking hazardous goods, currency, among other important merchandise. These systems are mainly used in supermarkets to identify the movement of products. The bar code is read by the system, and if the commodity has not been registered at the cashier point, then there is a high possibility that it has been stolen. These systems are popular because they are effective and give people the feeling that there is no way they could steal from big retailers. However, some people criticize these systems and argue that they violate the privacy of consumers. For instance, if the device is attached to a pair of shoes, the details of the item would be read and transmitted to an unwarranted system. This information would be left without the consent of the shoe owner. In future, there is the need to ensure that the tags are destroyed once the goods change hands or the legitimate owner wishes to have them concealed from any system.

Satellite Tracking and Surveillance

The transport sector has been among the sectors that have been highly tracked and surveyed to ensure that the goods being transported reach their destinations in good time and form. They are also supposed to reach the destination in the right quantities. Satellite tracking has been an integral part of this development as there has been the need to ensure that the goods are delivered as expected. Apart from this, satellites have been used to track down bandits and lawbreakers. Criminals who may run away from the law enforcers are usually followed through satellite surveillance. It has been effective; but this method has been limited due to the knowledge of criminals that they could be tracked. This has made them to come up with new strategies such as hiding in forests where they cannot be spotted.

Hybrid Technology Cards

Today, highly sophisticated memory cards that use optical technology are in wide use. Most of these have embedded holograms that ensure a rapid visual authentication. They contain security features that can use micro images to detect wrongdoing. These images are used in computer security systems to detect unwanted intruders. They have been used to store government information, and in some countries, they are used to develop electronic identification cards.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

CCTV is used to curb crime in public places. It is widely used to detect any mischief within a building. Usually, if a building is fitted with these cameras, it is indicated at the entrance. This is done to ensure that the privacy rights of the people who use the building in question are not violated. More advanced CCTV technology is being developed; now, the cameras can identify faces and report to the authorities that a certain person, probably a wanted criminal, is at a certain location. Today, most big cities in developed countries are fitted with CCTV, and this has significantly reduced crime. Supermarkets and other retail outlets also have these cameras to reduce petty thefts.


The theoretical developments have contributed very little to the current status of security in the world (Ullman, 1983). This is because, although the main theories mainly focus on the traditional definition of security, none of them has any concrete concerns in regard to the rapid technological and social dynamism. International invasions in the recent past have been on the fall, while internal conflicts have increased. To date, countries like Syria are still in conflict within themselves. In contrast, warring countries such as the US and Afghanistan are almost calling off their war, since the United States government is considering withdrawal of their troops from Afghanistan (McDonald, 2008). The Soviet Union disintegrated, and countries are today focusing on their economic growth. The issue of security has, therefore, changed in dimension. People used to rob banks using guns, and now, the bank securities are focusing on limiting the frauds related to electronic money transfers. Therefore, since the systems are changing and improving, the security status needs to equally develop. Furthermore, stealing of hard copies of minutes and other valuable documents was done through forceful break-ins, while today it is done through system hacking. All of this has not been captured by the theories that have so far been developed.

Policies have to some extent facilitated the development of the security system. They have provided a framework that would be used by security forces as well as the bodies who would impartially monitor the personnel who are entrusted with the security of the people from any given nation.

Practical innovations and new technology are the main source of inspiration for the recent rapid development of the security industry (McDonald, 2008). The needs of the society and an increase in the use of innovations among criminals have compelled the security personnel to equally increase their employment of high technology, which has led to a fast development of the industry.

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