All information systems security professionals who are certified by (ISC)² recognize that such certification is a privilege that must be both earned and maintained. In support of this principle, all (ISC)² members are required to commit to fully support this Code of Ethics (the “Code”). (ISC)² members who intentionally or knowingly violate any provision of the Code will be subject to action by a peer review panel, which may result in the revocation of certification. There are only four mandatory canons in the code. By necessity, such high-level guidance is not intended to be a substitute for the ethical judgment of the professional.
Additional guidance is provided for each of the canons. While this guidance may be considered by the board of directors in judging behavior, it is advisory rather than mandatory. It is intended to help professionals identify and resolve the inevitable ethical dilemmas that they will confront during the course of their information security career.
Code of Ethics Preamble:
- Safety of the commonwealth, duty to our principals, and to each other requires that we adhere, and be seen to adhere, to the highest ethical standards of behavior.
- Therefore, strict adherence to this Code is a condition of certification.
Code of Ethics Canons:
- Protect society, the commonwealth, and the infrastructure.
- Act honorably, honestly, justly, responsibly, and legally.
- Provide diligent and competent service to principals.
- Advance and protect the profession.
The following additional guidance is given regarding pursuit of these goals.
Objectives for Guidance
In arriving at the following guidance, the committee is mindful of its responsibility to:
• Give guidance for resolving good versus good and bad versus bad dilemmas.
• To encourage right behavior such as:
- Identifying, mentoring, and sponsoring candidates for the profession
- Valuing the certificate
• To discourage such behavior as:
- Raising unnecessary alarm, fear, uncertainty, or doubt
- Giving unwarranted comfort or reassurance
- Consenting to bad practice
- Attaching weak systems to the public network
- Professional association with non-professionals
- Professional recognition of or association with amateurs
- Associating or appearing to associate with criminals or criminal behavior
These objectives are provided for information only; the professional is not required or expected to agree with them.
In resolving the choices that confront him or her, the professional should keep in mind that the following guidance is advisory only. Compliance with the guidance is neither necessary nor sufficient for ethical conduct.
Compliance with the preamble and canons is mandatory. Conflicts between the canons should be resolved in the order of the canons. The canons are not equal and conflicts between them are not intended to create ethical binds.
Protect society, the commonwealth, and the infrastructure
- Promote and preserve public trust and confidence in information and systems.
- Promote the understanding and acceptance of prudent information security measures.
- Preserve and strengthen the integrity of the public infrastructure.
- Discourage unsafe practice.
Act honorably, honestly, justly, responsibly, and legally
- Tell the truth; make all stakeholders aware of your actions on a timely basis.
- Observe all contracts and agreements, express or implied.
- Treat all members fairly. In resolving conflicts, consider public safety and duties to principals, individuals, and the profession in that order.
- Give prudent advice; avoid raising unnecessary alarm or giving unwarranted comfort. Take care to be truthful, objective, cautious, and within your competence.
- When resolving differing laws in different jurisdictions, give preference to the laws of the jurisdiction in which you render your service.
Provide diligent and competent service to principals
- Preserve the value of their systems, applications, and information.
- Respect their trust and the privileges that they grant you.
- Avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof.
- Render only those services for which you are fully competent and qualified.
Advance and protect the profession
- Sponsor for professional advancement those best qualified. All other things equal, prefer those who are certified and who adhere to these canons. Avoid professional association with those whose practices or reputation might diminish the profession.
- Take care not to injure the reputation of other professionals through malice or indifference.
- Maintain your competence; keep your skills and knowledge current. Give generously of your time and knowledge in training others.
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