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Ethical Implications of Cybersecurity in Multiple Industries 

Until July 2023, more than 6 million data records were exposed worldwide due to data breaches. 

Almost everything is stored in some database, from the essentials of credit cards to medical records. 

To safeguard the information of the consumers or the clients, each company has some ethical cyber responsibilities that cannot be violated. 

All industries should take severe measures against cyber security vulnerabilities to secure consumers’ trust and data. 

Ethical Implications – What’s Important and What’s Not?  

You should be aware of numerous cybersecurity implications in different industries. 

1. Honor Confidentiality

Most industries rely on gathering the private data of their customers or employees to carry out specific procedures. 

Collecting this data is not an issue, but being unable to protect it is most certainly a problem. Let’s take an example of a healthcare industry or a hospital. 

Hospitals have tons of patient information, ranging from social security numbers to thorough medical records. 

If a breach happens or some hackers manage to get inside the system of the medical organization, there can be dire consequences. 

The data breach in healthcare can lead to profound legal implications for the facility and patient distress. 

That is why base-level security is essential in healthcare. Each facility should be able to answer basic security questions like what is my IP to ensure complete protection.

Each department can entertain the option of having a dedicated IP to filter out the malicious traffic associated with shared IP.

2. Responsibility for Safeguarding Financial Data 

Financial institutions like banks and digital currency exchanges require the client’s financial data and information. Their systems are full of credit card numbers, passwords, and whatnot. 

It’s the ethical responsibility of such institutions to take strict measures and deal with all the cybersecurity vulnerabilities in every possible way. 

Even while deploying the VPN, it’s essential to go for the one with a multi-login feature to make sure people around you are also safe.

3. Respect for Informed Consent 

At the same time, it is the ethical responsibility of financial institutions to honor the code of informed consent. Users or consumers should be aware of how their data will be used. 

There should be some guarantee that the user data will never be sold against their consent to third parties. 

4. Protecting National Security

In today’s digital world, nations’ defense and security operations heavily depend on technology. 

Even the crucial aspects of national security, such as weapons, security systems, and classified information, are managed digitally. 

In this situation, governments and defense agencies are responsible for protecting their countries and citizens from cyber threats. 

Each government and defense agency must have a full-fledged strategic plan to combat cyber threats.

5. Protection of Communities

Nowadays, cyber-attacks are not just limited to a single device or a single person. These have taken a very advanced form and can impact a whole community with a single blow. 

Suppose the digital control systems of a power grid become infected with a bug or virus due to a cyber attack. In that case, the entire power grid can malfunction, leading to community-wide blackouts. 

The ethical responsibility here lies with the energy and utility industry, which must ensure the cyber resilience of these systems. 

Failure to do so poses immediate risks and carries various ethical implications.

6. Ensure Transparency

There are a lot of retail businesses being run these days. The owners of these businesses have access to a significant amount of data on their customers. 

This data ranges from the home addresses to their credit card essentials. 

The customers’ trust in these companies can be broken when these retailers use the customer’s information without transparency for their targeted advertisements. 

Ethically, retailers need to refrain from infringing on consumer privacy.

7. Vendor Management 

Organizations must take into consideration vendor management. Before taking any third party on board, ensure they respect ethical cyber security standards. 

The agreement should have some security requirements to ensure that vendors will uphold cybersecurity. 

Also, there should be clear cybersecurity expectations in the contractual agreements. 

Industries should specify the security measures and standards that vendors must adhere to. At the same time, clauses should address privacy concerns and data protection.

Plus, there should be mandatory adherence to established cybersecurity frameworks like ISO 27001 and the NIST, which applies to vendors and industries.

8. Regular Cyber Security Training 

As an industry, you can only be ethical if everybody in your team shares the same vision. 

The protection of data should be the core responsibility of every member of the team. 

Employees can become more aware of potential cyber risks by conducting periodic cyber security sessions. 

This way, they will also gain insight into responding to such threats. The sessions are also suitable for the moral training of team members so they can uphold the ethical vision of the industry. 

All this will enhance an organization’s security posture while protecting customer data. 

Our Opinion: Legal Framework and Ethical Implications

The legal framework in the United States faces a significant gap because of the absence of comprehensive federal privacy legislation. 

Although various sector-specific laws like HIPAA and COPPA exist, there needs to be an overarching federal law for comprehensive privacy protection, resulting in a patchwork of state laws like CCPA and CDPA. 

This fragmentation extends to national security versus privacy rights issues in government surveillance programs, contributing to a lack of cohesion in cybersecurity and privacy regulation.

In Europe, there must be more in achieving a single approach to cybersecurity and data protection across member states despite the GDPR’s comprehensive framework. 

The need for harmonization with other regulations, such as the NIS Directive, can lead to compliance consistency. 

Cross-border data transfer guidance remains to be seen, particularly following the Schrems II decision, causing regulatory uncertainty and business legal disputes.

In the United Kingdom, potential gaps include the absence of specific Internet of Things devices regulations, limited Data Protection Act 2018 scope, and concerns about the adequacy of fines for data breaches.

PIPEDA applies only to the private sector in Canada, leaving government agencies without consistent privacy protection. 

There are calls for stronger enforcement powers for the Privacy Commissioner and amendments to PIPEDA to address evolving technology and cyber threats.

The UAE faces a gap involving the conflict between the UAE Cybercrime Law and laws related to freedom of expression and human rights, raising concerns about potential abuse of power. 

Singapore’s legal frameworks, while comprehensive, exhibit gaps in coverage and potential inconsistencies, particularly regarding non-CII organizations and privacy law violations.

In China, transparency and accountability gaps exist in the legislation’s implementation, leading to concerns about power abuse, privacy, and free speech rights violations. 

South Korea’s legal frameworks exhibit potential concerns regarding government surveillance, censorship, and data protection, necessitating further reforms.

Ethics Win the Trust Game

Cybersecurity ethics is essential as it ensures trust, privacy, and the correct code of conduct. 

Ethical cybersecurity practices protect individuals from the devastating consequences of data breaches, identity theft, and financial loss. 

They also safeguard an organization’s reputation and legal standing to ensure compliance with data protection laws. 

Remember, we need ethics fr