ISSA Code of Ethics

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The primary goal of the Information Systems Security Association, Inc. (ISSA) is to promote practices that will ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of organizational information resources. To achieve this goal, members of the Association must reflect the highest standards of ethical conduct. Therefore, ISSA has established the following Code of Ethics and requires its observance as a prerequisite for continued membership and affiliation with the Association.

As an ISSA member, guest and/or applicant for membership, I have in the past and will in the future:

  • Perform all professional activities and duties in accordance with all applicable laws and the highest ethical principles;
  • Promote generally accepted information security current best practices and standards;
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of proprietary or otherwise sensitive information encountered in the course of professional activities;
  • Discharge professional responsibilities with diligence and honesty;
  • Refrain from any activities which might constitute a conflict of interest or otherwise damage the reputation of or is detrimental to employers, the information security profession, or the Association; and
  • Not intentionally injure or impugn the professional reputation or practice of colleagues, clients, or employers.

From the President, December 7, 2023

A message for our members and chapter leaders regarding ethics.

Recently, there have been inquiries regarding the ISSA International ethics process. I want to take this opportunity to address my thoughts as your president after collaborating with your international board of directors, our legal representative, and our public relations team.

Ours is an industry that demands that we operate, communicate, and represent ourselves at the highest level of integrity and demonstrate ethical behavior for our employers, clients, and constituents. Many of our professional certifications have some requirements related to adhering to integral and ethical standards as well. Many professional membership organizations such as ours articulate mandatory ethical requirements that necessitate acknowledgment as a part of consideration for and for maintaining membership. This was a primary consideration for membership when our board members founded ISSA nearly 40 years ago.

All members should be diligent in representing themselves appropriately. All chapter leaders should represent themselves properly, establish transparent chapter governance that addresses conflicts of interest, and avoid participating in activities that may not reflect well on themselves, their chapter, or the association. Each chapter should manage its affairs according to the bylaws and chapter governance. Communication and transparency are essential to avoid misperceptions and conflicts of interest. If there is a concern at a chapter level, there should be a process for a chapter board to resolve issues internally and transparently.

Sometimes, it may be necessary to elevate ethical concerns to ISSA International. Your board of directors regards ethics complaints with the utmost gravity, understanding the critical importance of our industry operating from a position of unwavering integrity. Preserving the trust and ethical standing of our organization is paramount.

The ISSA International Board of Directors is dedicated to achieving a just, confidential, fair, and expeditious process for investigating ethics violations. When an ethics claim is submitted, the association recognizes the sensitivity and importance of coordinating an integral ethics investigation process and provides resources and guidance for members and chapter leaders to follow.

Due to the sensitive nature of an ethics complaint, the ISSA International ethics complaint process does not allow for anonymous submissions. ISSA International acknowledges the potential harm any claim can inflict on an individual's reputation and impact on their career. Therefore, any submitted ethics complaints must include the name and contact information of the complainant to ensure transparency and fairness in the investigation process conducted by the ISSA International Ethics Committee. Only members in good standing are allowed to submit complaints. These decisions align with our commitment to maintaining a robust, accountable, and ethical framework.

If any member or chapter leader has a question or requires additional information regarding this message or our ethics process, please get in touch with the ISSA International Ethics Committee or our executive director.

Thank you for being so committed to our industry!


Dr. Shawn P. Murray, President

ISSA International Board of Directors


Ethics Review Policy

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