School of Computer and Information Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
A subject that eludes a consensus definition, security is an amalgam of disciplines that is moving inexorably towards professionalisation. Yet identifying who or what defines a security professional remains as difficult and elusory as a comprehensive definition of security that captures all of its modern facets and many actors. The view of elevating such a discipline as security to the status of a profession provokes polarised opinions. This article reviews the literature, examining what elements identify a security professional and exploring the significant themes and issues. To support these elements, security experts (n=27) were surveyed using a multidimensional scaling technique to assess what constitutes a suitable and validated body of knowledge. It is concluded that many of the issues pivotal for progressing security towards professionalism are being addressed; however, there exists a need for research into developing a consensus and functional unity among the various branches of the security profession, and to identify emergent issues that affect security as a profession. One approach put forward by this study was that a singular body of knowledge, in part, that can aid in the understanding of security.