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What is Security?

by Ron Kurtus (updated 23 November 2022)

Security is the protection of a person, property or organization from an attack. There are people who have distorted motivations to perform such attacks. The types of protection include prevention, response and pre-emptive attacks.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Types of attacks

People, property or organizations may be attacked by the criminally-minded. Security is necessary to protect from such attacks.

Attack on person

Physical attacks are efforts to injury or even kill a person. Other types personal attacks can also be attempts to injure or hurt someone emotionally or financially. Sometimes there is even an attack to destroy a person's reputation.

Attack on property

Someone may try to damage or destroy property, such as a building. Theft is also considered a property attack.

Attack on organization

Groups or individuals may wish to damage, undermine or destroy an organization, such as a company or even a government. Attacks may involve sabotage, creating unrest among the people, damaging property or even killing leaders.

To some extent, business competition may include attacking another company's ability to make a profit.

Terrorists try to destroy a government or society through damaging property or randomly killing or injuring people.

Reasons for attacks

Reasons for such an attack may be for revenge, financial gain, political or religious motives, for thrills, or to avoid getting caught.


A person may attack another person or damage property as a way to seek revenge. This may be an effort to hurt a spouse, because of divorce proceedings, or it may be a worker who was fired, trying to get back at the company or his boss.


Criminals will attack other people, break into a building, or do other damage for the sake of financial gain. Some companies may try to gain business at the expense of a competitor by using underhanded methods.


Some individuals, groups and countries may want to attack property or people that have opposing political or even religious views. It is their effort to advance their viewpoint by the means of violence.


There are people--often teenaged boys--who will damage property or harm people for the sake of the thrill.

Avoid getting caught

Sometimes a robber may kill his victim in an effort to avoid being identified. Also, a criminal may set a building on fire to avoid leaving any clues after a robbery.


Security or protection against an attack usually requires anticipation, taking measures to prevent an attack, rapidly responding to an attack, and sometimes making a preemptive attack on suspected threats.

Anticipate threats

The more wealth you have, the greater the possibility someone will try to take it from you by underhanded or even violent methods. Or they may attempt to do other damage to harm you. Likewise, if there are people who have designated you as an enemy, there is the possibility that they may attempt to harm you or your property.

You must anticipate any such threats and take the proper security precautions.


Prevention against an attack includes making it difficult for someone to attack and displaying the willingness to counter-attack. Keeping the doors locked or avoiding walking alone in a bad neighborhood are examples of making it difficult for someone to attack you or your property. An armed security guard will often discourage trouble-makers.

Rapid response

An alarm system that calls the police or fire department is an example of a rapid response to an attack. It does not stop someone from doing harm or stealing, but it minimizes the damage.

Preemptive attack

In same cases, a person or organization will attack known threats before they can cause trouble. It is like "nipping the problem in the bud."


Security is protection. A person, property or organization may be vulnerable to an attack. Motivations to attack include revenge, money, a cause or even thrills. The types of protection include prevention, response and pre-emptive attacks.

Be safe

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