Recently, there has been a significant interest in studying security games to provide tools for addressing resource allocation problems in security applications. Patrolling security games (PSGs) constitute a special class of security games wherein the resources are mobile. One of the most relevant open problems in security games is the design of scalable algorithms to tackle realistic scenarios. While the literature mainly focuses on heuristics and decomposition techniques (e.g., double oracle), in this paper we provide, to the best of our knowledge, the first study on the use of abstractions in security games (specifically for PSGs) to design scalable algorithms. We define some classes of abstractions and we provide parametric algorithms to automatically generate abstractions. We show that abstractions allow one to relax the constraint of patrolling strategies' Markovianity (customary in PSGs) and to solve large game instances. We additionally pose the problem to search for the optimal abstraction and we develop an anytime algorithm to find it.