What is security: Definition through knowledge categorisation

Document Type

Journal Article


Palgrave Macmillan


Computing, Health and Science


Computer and Security Science, Centre for Security Research




This article was originally published as: Brooks, D. J. (2010). What is security: Definition through knowledge categorization. Security Journal, 23(3), 225-239. Original available here


There have been a number of studies that have attempted to define the concept of security. However, as past authors have indicated, security is multidimensional in nature and diverse in practice. This diversity leads to difficulty in providing a single all encompassing definition for the many applied domains of security. Security cannot be considered singular in concept definition, as definition is dependant on applied context. This study reversed engineered an applied security definition through the critique of 104 undergraduate security degrees, resulting in the presentation of 13 core security knowledge categories. These 13 knowledge categories were then integrated into an existing Australian security framework, resulting in the presentation of the science of security framework model. This framework allowed a greater understanding of security through knowledge structure and placed concept definition within the applied context domain of organizational security.

Access Rights

open access


Link to publisher version (DOI)