When To Hire Uniformed Guards vs Undercover Security? Important Things To Know

A security risk is one of the most critical challenges every business faces. Physical (brick-and-mortar) stores require protection for tangible items, while digital businesses need security tools for data protection. The firewall and antivirus programs might help prevent security breaches for your eCommerce site, but what about the risk of theft and vandalism at your land-based store?

You need advanced security tools to deter criminals and ensure the safety of your workforce, assets, and the business’ infrastructure. Most business leaders prefer a combination of tools, like access control systems, security guards, multi-factor authentication, and safety alarms, to maximize their workplace security. Let’s check out the most effective form of security that every business or retailer should consider.

Hiring Security Guards

Security guards—in plain and uniform clothes—are trained personnel that handles all kinds of security concerns in your place and guarantees maximum protection from intruders.

Once you know you need armed professionals for your staff’s or place’s safety, the next important thing to decide is whether you should hire plain-clothed (undercover) agents or uniformed guards. Let’s see which security guards will fit your requirements.

Undercover Security: What Is It And When Do You Need Them?


Undercover agents are plain-clothed individuals trained to detect crime or any suspicious activity that might lead to a serious crime without giving away their identity. Some cases require agents that discreetly look into the matter and proactively solve the case. They catch the crime before it happens.

Undercover agents are a team of armed security guards and effectively help provide excellent security to their clients. Thieves and people with bad intentions are extremely cautious of the police. If they see cops in the event that they are planning to crash, they’d either cancel their plans or find a different route to invade the place.

Undercover agents, on the other hand, do not deter intruders from executing their plans. But, they set up their own armed security system that catches criminals before they can cause any harm to the assets or people.

Here’s when you need undercover security:

Internal Theft


Even armed security won’t help catch an internal member stealing from your business or leaking your confidential data to a third party. If you are a large corporation with hundreds of employees, you need a trained team of undercover agents that can figure out who’s behind the crimes occurring in your workplace. They will understand your work culture and blend with your workforce. Their investigation tricks will help you discover internal theft and who should be blamed.

In The Workplace

Undercover officers are not identifiable. As they are not in uniform, they are seen as general people. This creates a safe and peaceful environment in your workplace. Your employees will feel safe working in your company and execute their jobs as usual. For a retail store or a small-scale firm, hiring an undercover agent makes sense. Your workforce won’t feel intimidated, and the guards can catch and prevent the crime. It’s a win-win.

For Investigation

Some undercover operations require experienced security personnel that can execute the investigation as discreetly as possible. For serious crimes like murders, bribery, and drug trafficking, you need to hire plain-clothed people that can blend with others and conduct an investigation without making it obvious that everyone they are talking to is a suspect.

That way, your employees will feel safe around them. The criminal will most likely expose themselves to these agents.

Uniformed Guards: Who Are They And When Should You Hire Them?


Uniform guards, as the name implies, are dressed in the official cop uniform, which makes them easily identifiable to the general public. They wear plain shirts with their name tags, a radio, and belts. They also show their badge to the public.

The main difference between uniformed and plain-clothed security guards is that the latter catches the internal thief or conducts a discreet investigation to find the criminal. Uniformed guards do not engage in any secret mission. They are assigned duties in different places to deter crime and prevent theft or any kind of harm to people or the building.

Here’s when you should hire uniformed security guards.

Retail Stores And Large Corporations

Your business can be the target of shoplifting if you are running a large retail store that sells a wide array of items. You don’t want people to walk away with stolen goods. If shoplifting becomes a regular practice in your store, it will negatively affect your bottom line.

Having armed and uniformed security guards at the entrance and within your store can deter such crimes. People won’t steal knowing that a security guard will check all the items in the cart.

Important Events

When you are conducting events where a large crowd of guests is invited, you need uniformed security guards to check their passes and give entries after conducting metal detection tests. In events where politicians and other VIPs are invited, the event manager has to hire a team of uniformed and armed security personnel to prevent any criminal activity within the premises.

Using Uniformed And Undercover Security


Some events require undercover security agents, while other places need uniform guards. At times, you need both to maximize protection in your place and make people feel safe.

The intruder might notice the uniformed cop and try to stay away from their sight, while the internal thief who’s already in the building will easily get caught by an undercover agent. This will protect you against internal and external crimes, ensuring people’s safety at all times.

Bottom Line

The type of security your business needs might differ from what other businesses use. Identify your needs and the criminal activity your business and people are exposed to when looking for security guards.

Hire a team of armed professionals for your entrance gate and other restricted places that only authorized people are meant to access. While uniformed cops are an absolute necessity for malls and other large-scale retail shops, undercover agents are equally important for businesses that report internal theft.

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