The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was set up under an Act of the Parliament of India on 10 March 1969 with a strength of 2,800. CISF was subsequently made a para military force of the Republic of India by another Act of Parliament passed on 15 June 1983. This force is directly under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and its headquarters is in New Delhi.

The CISF provides security cover to industrial units, government infrastructure projects and facilities and establishments located all over India. Industrial sectors like atomic power plants, space installations, mints, oil fields and refineries, major ports, heavy engineering, steel plants, barrages, fertilliser units, airports and hydroelectric / thermal power plants owned and controlled by Central Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), and currency note presses producing Indian currency are protected by CISF. It, thereby, covers installations all over India straddling a variety of terrain and climatic conditions. 

CISF also provides consultancy services to private industries as well as other organisations within the Indian government. The consulting wing has among its clients some of the renowned business houses and organisations of India. The scope of CISF's consulting practice includes security consulting and fire protection consulting.

CISF is a unique organisation in paramilitary forces for India, which works for sea ways, airways and some of the major installations in India. In CISF there are some reserved battalions which work with the state police to protect law and order. CISF plays a major role in Disaster Management, for Disaster Management course the personnel are trained at NISA, Hyderabad. Another unique thing which the CISF has is a Fire Wing which helps during fire accidents in Industries where CISF is on guard.