Safety compliance: infosec anti-harassment industry group gathers momentum with code of conduct campaign

John Leyden December 17, 2021 at 13:36 UTC

Updated: December 17, 2021 at 13:39 UTC

Make the commitment, companies are urged

An information security industry campaign to end workplace harassment and cyberbullying on social media has received commitments from a number of companies to implement a code of conduct.

Respect in Safety, which launched in July this year, has secured commitments from 98 UK-based companies who have pledged to make their offices safe and free from harassment.

So far, BT, Trend Micro, Crest and several law firms, including Pinsent Masons, are among the companies that have signed up to the pledge.

CONTEXT Respect and safety: a new infosec campaign aims to eradicate harassment

As previously stated by The daily sip, the idea for Respect in Security was kicked off at the Cyber ​​House Party, a regular online meeting held during the pandemic that featured discussions on industry topics alongside DJ sets and socialization.

A roundtable on online harassment shed light on gaps in industry-specific support for victims of harassment and shed light on bad behavior, which prompted a group of industry professionals to create the group.

Nikki Webb, Global Channel Manager for Managed Service Provider Custodian360 and Co-Founder of Respect in Security, said The daily sip that harassment can take many forms, from “violating the dignity” of a particular person to the development of a toxic work culture.

“The problem is bigger than we thought,” said Webb The daily sip.

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A survey of 302 people in the industry, commissioned by Respect in Security, found that almost a third (32%) had experienced online harassment. Of these incidents of harassment, 44% occurred on Twitter and 37% via email.

“We are not as respectful as we should be,” said Webb, who added that the exclusion of people with disabilities remains a problem despite legislation in this area.

Toxic workplaces

The UK, where the majority of the group’s founders are based, recently announced that it hopes to become a ‘global cyberpower’ in 2022, with a particular focus on improving the number of diverse applicants in the industry. .

But while we often talk about the skills gap and the number of people needed to fill vacancies, unless more is done to improve the culture of companies, we risk discouraging potential workers, especially young people. , or worse to get them into a “toxic industry,” according to Webb.

The industry can come under enough pressure, especially when organizations are defending themselves against high-profile attacks like Log4j, without adding online bullying or trolling.

Forward thinking

For the future, Respect in Security hopes to organize events at Town Hall and conduct more research.

There has also been some thinking about how to franchise the organization and where it is located in different countries – however, different laws can be a barrier.

Although the company’s human resources department has compliance programs in place, those programs are also inadequate, says Webb who concluded, “Checkbox exercises are not enough. “

READ MORE UK government reveals intention to become a ‘global cyberpower’ in 2022

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