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The Role of the Professional Code of Ethics in Addressing Security Threats Essay

Historically, many professional associations have viewed ethical codes as mechanisms used to establish their status professionally. This gives a way of regulating their membership in order to convince the world that they deserve to be as self regulating as possible (Aupperle 2005, p. 1057).

The state of self regulation depends on ways to curb unethical behavior among members. Therefore, a code combined with ethics review board emerged as the solution. This code of ethics has helped in listing possible violations and has also executed threats and sanctions to such violations.

The need to execute the ethical review board has not been an easy task at all for ACM. However, they later came to realize that the act of self regulation depends or can work only if there is a consensus and crucial commitment of its members.

Recently, the most crucial rationale for ethical code has been the enactment of a set of commitments of the association members. In some instances, those enactments are brought out as rules and regulations as well as ideas.

However, the main social function is clarification and stating the ethical requirement that are important to the organization which is acting as a professional association (Hagen, Albrechtsen & Hovden 2008, p. 377)

The recent codes of ethics put more emphasis on socialization and education rather than compliance enforcement. In addition, these codes can work toward collective well being of the association even if it might be a distillation of collective reflection and experience.

Moreover, a code of ethics is usually the major drive for any profession bearing in mind that professionals should be accountable to the public and by so doing; it leads to great returns when public trust is fortified.

Before exploring the major security threats that can arise from irresponsible behavior among information technology employees, we ought to concur with the submission that the final and the most crucial function of ethical code is the role it plays as a guide towards decision making by an individual and hence it can be quite ideologically helpful if incorporated in every IT firm (Hagen, Albrechtsen & Hovden 2008, p. 377).

To begin with, it is worth to admit that human beings were not born to be perfect. This can be supported by the fact that they use brains. Every IT firm requires human beings as members of staff for its goals to be achieved and profitable results realized.

However, it happens that there arise cases related to misbehavior among employees for one reason or another.

Human carelessness, harm to other employees and machines, dishonesty and untrustworthy, confidentiality, unprofessionalism, improper crediting of intellectual property, disrespect of other employees, unfairness and discrimination, unreliability, software risks, unauthorized access as well as conflicting interests are among the many shortcomings that may be experienced in an IT firm ( Jin, Drozdenko & Bassett 2007, p. 149)

Therefore, due to the employees’ shortcomings, the Association of Computing Machinery (ACN) and the Australian Computer Society (ACS) enacted codes of ethics as part of their constitution whereby all members must adhere to at all times even as they pursue their professions.

In addition, members are required to be law abiding citizens and they should also act within the given code of ethics by adhering to the set values.

Some of the ACS and ACM codes of ethics, values and ideals that have been subscribed to members include standards of conduct, priorities, competence, honesty, social implications, professional developments and computing competence.

Under the main code of ethics, an employee is required to act with high levels of professionalism and integrity whenever dealing with clients, other employees, students and the community at large.

By so doing, the interests of the aforementioned parties will be achieved while realizing or attaining the goals of the company (Van, Wempe & Theo 2004, p. 385).

These firms accept the fact that the standard of conduct are ideal and not can be achieved. It is a practical and a common occurrence for various standards to conflict against each other in various ways.

There is need to apply some degree of subjectivity bearing in mind that in any given organization, cases of etjical as well as unethical behaiour will hardly miss out Hawkey & Beznosov 2009, p. 4).

It is also imperative to mention that various cases of poor application of the given code of ethics mainly arise as a result of inadequate accountability on the part of members (Jin, Drozdenko & Bassett 2007, p. 149).

Finally, it is worthy to mention that according to the standard of ethics, a member is expected to distinguish between ethical and unethical practices in each particular circumstance.

In any case, the application of the code of ethics should be exercised by individuals who are well versed with the rules and regulations as provided by the ethical bodies. By doing so, Intellectual properties will be credited properly (Jin, Drozdenko & Bassett 2007, p. 149).

These firms also share another close aspect in their codes of ethics. It is known as priorities’. In other words, service should be offered to other stakeholders first before engaging in self service or interests. In other words, they are not supposed to put themselves first.

Members are required to preserve and maintain continuity of computing information flow on their own (Messikomer & Cirka 2010, p. 55).They are also supposed to preserve to security and integrity of every information obtained from clients.

Furthermore, a member is required to advise clients or employers in case any conflict arises in course of their work. Finally, members are given priority to advise clients as well as employers whenever there are conscientious objections facing them in connection to their work.

As a result of this clause, conflicting interests can be categorized as security threats among IT firms (Long & Driscoll 2008, p. 173).

Competence is another valuable clause that is shared among the ACS and ACM IT firms. There is also dire need for members to be quite diligent in their service delivery since it is considered to be part and parcel of the ethics.

In addition, the tastes and prefarances of clients must be adhered to bearing in mind that clients who are unsatisfied may lead to poor business performance in any organization.

Enacting this clause in the professional codes of ethics has helped in dealing with unprofessional security threats among IT firms (Messikomer & Cirka 2010, p. 55).

Moreover, it is imperative to mention that honesty is a vital tool that can be possessed by either an individual or organization.

With a mission to curb the IT security shortcomings that have been existing among employers, these firms considered the virtue of honesty during the enactment of IT codes of ethics constitution.

Under this clause, every member is required to maintain honesty while representing skills, knowledge, services and products to clients (Messikomer & Cirka 2010, p. 55).

Besides, members are strictly warned against misrepresenting their skills and knowledge but are required to provide objective and unbiased opinion. Realistic estimates for projects are mandated under their control.

The professional requirements of members should also be enhanced in order to have a vast knowledge of those who are practicing in the field. In terms of credibility, they are supposed to strictly credit other people’s IT work in order to prevent unfairness and discrimination.

In order to ensure that the IT security is enhanced among employers, these firms included ‘social implications’ clause in their constitution. Members are expected to strive in enhancing high quality of life to the users of their work. Moreover, employees ought to be respected at all times.

This can be achieved by avoiding sentiments that may depict lack of respect or dignity. Fair treatment should be the basis of operations. Moreover, they should also offer due respect to peoples’ privacy (Long & Driscoll 2008, p. 173).

Finally, the involvement of computing profession in the ACM and ACS firms plays a major role in curbing occurrence of human errors. This helps in minimizing chances of losses resulting from errors which happened without being noticed.

On a basic business note, involvement of strategies of ethics remains invaluable. One of the crucial things which should not be forgotten is putting in place monitoring mechanisms.

From the above credible observations, it is definite that professional code of ethics is the major foundation upon which modern organizations in computing are ethically regulated (Long & Driscoll 2008, p. 173).


Aupperle, E 2005, “Information security and ethics: social and organizational issues”, Choice vol. 42 no. 6, pp. 1057-1059.

Hagen, J., Albrechtsen, E. & Hovden, J 2008, “Implementation and effectiveness of organizational information security measures”, Information Management & Computer Security, vol. 16 no. 4, pp. 377-397.

Jin, K., Drozdenko, R. & Bassett, R 2007, “Information Technology Professionals’ Perceived Organizational Values and Managerial Ethics: An Empirical Study”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 71 no. 2, pp. 149-159.

Long, B. & Driscoll, C 2008, “Codes of Ethics and the Pursuit of Organizational Legitimacy: Theoretical and Empirical Contributions”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 77 no. 2, pp. 173-175.

Messikomer, C. & Cirka, C 2010, “Constructing a Code of Ethics: An Experiential Case of a National Professional Organization”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 95 no. 1, pp. 55-71.

Van, J., Wempe, B. & Theo, W 2004, “Rethinking Organizational Ethics: A Plea for Pluralism”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 55 no. 4, pp. 385-393.

Werlinger, R., Hawkey, K. & Beznosov, K. 2009, “An integrated view of human, organizational, and technological challenges of IT security management”, Information Management & Computer Security, vol. 17 no. 1, pp. 4-19.

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Gibson, Wyatt. "The Role of the Professional Code of Ethics in Addressing Security Threats." IvyPanda, 8 July 2019,

1. Wyatt Gibson. "The Role of the Professional Code of Ethics in Addressing Security Threats." IvyPanda (blog), July 8, 2019.


Gibson, Wyatt. "The Role of the Professional Code of Ethics in Addressing Security Threats." IvyPanda (blog), July 8, 2019.


Gibson, Wyatt. 2019. "The Role of the Professional Code of Ethics in Addressing Security Threats." IvyPanda (blog), July 8, 2019.


Gibson, W. (2019) 'The Role of the Professional Code of Ethics in Addressing Security Threats'. IvyPanda, 8 July.

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