Outdated CSO redundant

The title of chief security officer (CSO) is antiquated, outdated and irrelevant, according to Secure Pathways CEO and CTO Jim Southworth.

The title, he says, should be changed to that of business continuity expert, given the changing and integral nature of the role.

"A CSO needs to know about security, safety, redundancy, networking and storage, but a CSO from an organization does not have the training in law enforcement," Southworth said.

"We hear it nine times out of 10 how employing a former law enforcement officer as a CSO does you no good. They want to learn new skills but 30 or 40 years at law enforcement means they have a different skill set, although these skills are a requirement of the job."

Visiting Australia last week as a guest speaker at the CIO Conference in Sydney, Southworth has been described as the architect of the next generation of the Internet and has acted as a consultant with US federal law enforcement agencies and was part of Interpol.

Fear is the primary motivator behind IT security investments, he said, adding that more still has to be done and praised the Australian government for pushing the critical infrastructure protection agenda.

"The fact that the Australian government is pushing the agenda of corporate security measures to international standards ensures that Australia stays on a level playing field with the rest of the world."

"Security surrounding critical infrastructure in Australia may be lagging behind, but also may be an example of effective conservatism, currently meeting the needs required and moving forward.

"I see it as a good thing that the government has an opportunity to force growth by enforcing regulatory restrictions by restricting either what is used or by dangling a carrot; the financial impetus is to build to requirements."

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