German Security services still in high demand in 2023

May 16, 2024

Following growth of 15.5% in 2022 to EUR 11.9 billion, the security industry is once again expecting strong growth in industry turnover* to an estimated EUR 13.4 billion in 2023. ‘With an increase in turnover of around 12.6 per cent compared to the previous year, the security industry is once again growing at a disproportionately high rate,’ said Gregor Lehnert, President of the German Security Industry Association (BDSW), at the association’s annual members’ meeting in Freiburg today.

‘The security industry is growing against the overall economic trend and is managing to further expand its workforce despite a noticeable labour shortage,’ said Lehnert, commenting on the figures. Employment increased significantly (as at 30 September 2023) by around 7,500 compared to the end of 2022. This means that almost 284,500 people are now employed in the sector. This reflects the fact that there is still a growing need for additional security in public and private spaces, particularly in the business sector. The security of events and critical infrastructure against the threat of attack also remains a key issue.

The growing importance of the security industry is also documented by the fact that in 2023, with the draft bill for the Security Industry Act (Sicherheitsgewerbegesetz – SiGG), the Federal Government has responded to a long-standing demand by the BDSW to remove the legal basis for the security industry from the Trade Regulation Act and regulate it anew in a separate ‘parent law’ in implementation of the coalition agreement. The aim is to achieve a higher overall level with a view to ensuring internal security and, among other things, to reformulate the quality requirements. ‘There is a need for regulation in the SiGG not only for external providers of security services, but also – e.g. in the protection of critical infrastructures – for in-house staff. Last but not least, the increasing quality requirements for external service providers must not lead to increased insourcing of services from customers in order to circumvent the implementation of new standards, which naturally also cost more,’ Lehnert continued.

Furthermore, the German government rightly declared economic protection to be a strategic issue in 2023 and presented key points for a national economic protection strategy. This is because the threat scenarios are becoming more diverse. The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine is also contributing to the awareness of the problem, which is leading to great dynamism in the field of drone technology, for example. ‘New risks from industrial espionage, opportunities for sabotage, such as at Tesla and the undersea energy and data lines in the Baltic Sea, or the continued high risk of cyberattacks not only demonstrate the vulnerability of critical infrastructures, but also that of large and small companies. Broad-based security service providers support the economy, especially SMEs, with integrated security concepts,’ concluded Lehnert.

*Business class 80

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