Technology isn’t the only solution to the online threats we face

Over 90 per cent of networks are compromised and this can happen in less than 20 minutes when exposed to the Internet.

Mobile is the focal point of this trend. With embedded computing, the Internet of Things forming the planetary nervous system, a total disruption or failure is possible. Imagine the global economy of 77 trillion dollars dropping to under 10 trillion. Compounding this are the growing privacy breaches and in the wake of HeartBleed, what other vulnerabilities are lurking?

These privacy and cybersecurity failures are one of the symptoms of the digital quake where there are wholesale changes of over 50 per cent of all enterprises and roles. All disappearing! Thus, there is an urgent need for growing professionalism and ethics training.

There are added thoughts from leading authorities regarding professionalism and ethics:

  • In a 2012 interview, Dr. HamadounToure, Secretary General of the ITU, the United Nations agency representing ICT stated, “First, professional best practice is to be encouraged in every industry … In addition, we have our own ethics office which promulgates its guidelines on professional ethics through regular in-house workshops as well as serving as a focal point for individual staff wishing to consult on issues of professional ethics.”
  • In a 2013 interview, Ambassador Janis Karklins, ADG UNESCO:”I think there are many examples of good cooperation of professionals with different and sometimes diverging interests which are not really regulated by the government. The first thing that comes to mind is IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) where internet professionals and the technical community come together to discuss and then to develop necessary standards. I mentioned that we observe not only the advantages of the internet and technology, but also the misuse of technology and we need to think of the best way to help counter that misuse. Our computing professionals should certainly be part of that reflection and also action to counter the misuse of the internet or technology in general.”
  • The IFIP World CIO Forum, Global CIO Joint Declarations states, “We strive to support [the] IT Industry and professionalism of IT career.” “We will ensure the highest standards in our work, and with both quality and ethics, and will act diligently and professionally, and with integrity in discharge of our duties for the best interest of our respective organisations and society.”
  • GITCA a federation of groups representing over 6 million users states, “Global mobility and international standards within a framework of ethical conduct, demonstrated professional development and recognized professional certification are the hall marks for an enabled IT professional and profession.”
  • At the ITU World Summit on the Information Society WSIS +  10 High-Level Event 2014, the outcomes include statements about trustworthiness, ethical conduct and professionalism: Highlighting from page 117 titled, “Trustworthiness is earned but easily lost; the benefits of professionalism to your economy (IFIP) ” are these two quotes:

–“It may expected to investigate further extension of professionalism to help building of trustworthy environments of information society.” Chaesub Lee, senior advisor to the Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea. are

–“I was 90 per cent convinced by what you have said about professionalism and trustworthiness today, but now you have shared your interpretation of the ICT profession I am now 100 per cent convinced.” Boris Engelson, freelance journalist, Geneva.

So what can be done? CIPS in June has taken the lead in solving the cyber challenges by providing an online free CIPS ethics exam supported by donations. As noted by CIPS, “We live in a highly connected world where technology has become the central nervous system of our modern society. Technology has changed our world for the better, but technology also has fantastic potential for misuse as far too regularly witnessed. Technology professionals and future business leaders must therefore actively contribute and commit to ethical conduct regarding the data, systems, and IP they influence.”

This aligns with CIPS prior history of leadership and is illustrated by these luminaries:

CIPS Fellow, Founding Pioneer ICT & Smart Cities, Bill Hutchinson: “….. I’ve been a part of the profession and a member of Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) since the early 60s and am very fortunate and pleased to have been a part of CIPS. When you think of the impact of computing over the years now it’s at the heart of everything and it really is a profession and requires professional standards, testing and accountability. I’m 100 per cent behind that idea….”

Stephen Harper Prime Minister Canada: “… Since 1958, CIPS has represented its membership on important issues affecting the IT industry and profession. The association has promoted high ideals of competence and ethical practices through certification, accreditation programs, and professional development … Your efforts have made positive and lasting contributions to Canada’s economic growth and competitiveness.”

The CIPS’ ethics exam and valued insights gained from it are important to all enterprises and ICT professionals and it’s an important step to get involved by taking the exam. I challenge you to try it, support it, message about it to your colleagues and ultimately see what you can learn!

I believe the common denominator for sustained growth in economic development, GDP, innovation, sustainability and security is a professional workforce supported by internationally accredited industry relevant education, demonstrated skills development, recognized ethical conduct and adherence to proven best practices and standards; an ICT workforce following personal responsibility, public accountability, quality assurance, recognized credentials. This involves the collaboration of business, industry, governments, academia, and professional societies.

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