The days of IT security being purely an advisory role are in decline, according to Paul Dorey, vice-president for digital security at BP.
Speaking to Computer Weekly ahead of his presentation on Thursday to the Gartner conference, Dorey said the dependence of business processes on IT and the digitisation of almost every physical component and process is placing digital security at the core of business integrity.
Dorey predicted that by 2010 an increasing number of IT security professionals would be legally accountable for their designs and the statements they make about the digital integrity of their organisations.
Such accountability is reflected in other professions, such as the engineer who specifies the strength of steel for the bridge, the surgeon who knows when to operate and the compliance officer who confirms regulatory compliance, said Dorey.
He said, "Rather than consultants one step removed, the professional will be more and more trusted as a decision maker."
Dorey said the changing dynamics of security would mean chief information security officers (CISOs) needing to address tough issues, such as how the security capability can be deployed outside the company as well as inside and how best to work with regulators.
Dorey's presentation will focus on the skills CISOs will need for the future.