Cyber security ethics

The Ethics of Cybersecurity: Debating the Gray Areas

Cyber security Ethics play a key role in all fields of work, more importantly in professions that affect the lives of others. There are codes of conduct for each profession. For instance, doctors can be penalized for violating these codes of conduct. Similarly, lawyers can be expelled for the same reason. Based on the current scenario, we can clearly see that cyber security is so important, it makes sense that people working in this industry have codes of conduct too.

Undoubtedly, many will agree that cyber security experts need codes of conduct to carry out their responsibilities, but in this field, what is right and what is wrong is not always visible. Generally, cyber security professionals have access to sensitive data and knowledge about the networks of their clients, which gives them power that can be abused.

Truly, there is an absence of well-defined ethics for cyber security professionals, both as IT security consultants and in-house security specialists, especially when compared to other professions. This means that there should be ethics in cyber security too.

You must be wondering what are the ethics of cyber security? Why is it so important? Issues in cyber security ethics? No worries! This blog has answers to all your questions.

Let’s proceed!

What Are Ethics?

Ethics means the standards of what is right and wrong that mention what we have to do when specific circumstances arise. The objective of ethics is not to dictate what professionals must do when faced with every ethical dilemma but to instill a strong sense of principles that govern behavior or conduct.

Ethics is of utmost importance when applied to cyber security as seemingly unimportant actions can lead to consequences for the professionals and the organizations both they work for. Thus, cyber security experts can figure out what is expected of them professionally by understanding the rules of ethical behavior.

Why Is Ethics Significant to Cyber Security?

In cyber attacks, the targeted data is usually very sensitive and personal. It can be potentially devastating for your customers if you lose that sensitive data and it is crucial that you have the full trust of the individuals you’ve hired to protect it. It is necessary that the employees working in the field of cyber security have a strong sense of ethics and respect for the privacy of your customers as cyber security professionals have access to the sensitive personal data they were hired to protect.

A strong ethical core is necessary to navigate as the field of cyber security expands and shifts. It is very necessary that your employee can determine what is in the best interest of your customers and the company as a whole. Specific scenarios that your employees might confront can sometimes be impossible to foresee, so a strong ethical core can be the foundation that lets employees act in those best interests even in difficult, unpredictable circumstances.

Cyber Security Ethical Issues

Here ethical issues refer to the consequences, whether damages or benefits, that can come from the choices of cyber security professionals. For instance, it is easy to know how ethical issues in fields like engineering and aeronautics can have severe impacts on both individuals and companies. In the same way, ethical issues take place in cyber security too, and below are some of the key issues:

Harm to privacy

When it comes to cyber security, individuals and companies have sensitive data that increases the chances of threats like identity thefts as hackers seek to steal and use these data for financial transactions or other forms of crime.  As cyber security experts are the initial defense against attacks so they are trusted to guarantee privacy but poor cyber security practices increase the risks of a data breach. These practices can cause significant privacy harm.

Harm to property

Cyber attacks destruct organizations both digital and physical property. The network can be manipulated when professionals fail to carry out their responsibilities ethically and the exploitation of loopholes by profit-seeking criminal enterprises, politically motivated groups, and more. It is expected that professionals have to protect their organization’s network at all times.

Cyber security interests

It is true that hacking has a negative reaction, but ethical hacking is now a thing today, even though there are many concerns about it. In the hacking community, it always been the topic of debate about the need for teaching students hacking skills. Opponents say that it encourages illegal activities, while proponents say that it empowers students to identify and protect themselves from black hats. There is a possibility that these skills could be wrongly used in the absence of education and emphasis on cyber security ethics.

Common Ethical Challenges For Cyber Security Professionals

A wide range of challenges is faced by cyber security professionals on a daily basis. It is necessary to know these challenges and take a stand on them to ensure ethical and effective cyber security practice.

Ethical challenges in confidentiality

Confidentiality is a most important element in cyber security. It is duty of th cyber security professionals to keep the data confidential and he will be exposed to both private and proprietary data. There might be pressure from time to time to know the sensitive information about a user or the company, but professionals must practice what is known as the ‘butler’s credo.’ The butler never tells.

Ethical challenges in threats

It is the responsibility of the cyber security professionals to response to threats and data breaches. How they responds to cyber threats matters. Many people can afford to leave their computer unattended to or ignore notifications, but for a cyber security expert, this should be done.

Ethical challenges in network monitoring and user privacy

With regards to network monitoring and user privacy, many cyber security professionals often find themselves in the dilemma of carrying out their responsibilities without making unjustifiable intrusions on users and their privacy. This seems to be quite difficult, but it helps professionals to inform users of the network of active monitoring and also to what extent it will be done.


To carry out their duties ethically, cyber security professionals have an obligation to both their organizations and the general public. It is very important to know where to draw the moral line and stay ethically sound while aiming to better the security of any network they are protecting.

At Sennovate, our professional Cyber Security Experts are trained to ethically carry out their duties to protect your organization with years of experience. Do you want to start with cyber security but don’t to how and where to or you want to know more about the ethical duties and responsibilities of cyber security professionals at Sennovate? Our experts are just a call away!

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About Sennovate

Sennovate delivers Social Engineering Defence (SED) services, Managed Security Operations Center (SOC), custom Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions to businesses around the world. With global partners and a library of 2000+ integrations, 10M+ identities managed, we implement world-class cybersecurity solutions that save your company time and money. We offer a seamless experience with integration across all cloud applications, and a single price for product, implementation, and support. Have questions? The consultation is always free. Email [email protected] or call us at: +1 (925) 918-6618.