Cyber Security Versus Racism
These past few weeks have awakened many people to the very real injustice and inequality that Black people face around the world every day.
It’s an injustice and inequality that means there are police officers literally getting away with murder.
The truth is, Black people face disadvantages every day. An often visible and invisible headwind that white people don’t have to face.
It is, of course, a challenging issue. And it’s okay to admit that you don’t know where to start.
If you’re reading this and you’re Black, you might be wondering what more needs to happen before everyone takes a stand against racism.
If you’re not Black, it’s okay for you to be honest and admit that even talking about it is difficult. Or to admit that you’re afraid of sounding foolish. Or like a fraud. Or saying the wrong thing. Or drawing unwanted attention to yourself.
It’s okay to admit these things.
But it’s not okay to allow them to hold us back from doing the right thing.
As a cyber security community, we’ve shown in the past that we’re not afraid to make positive changes where we need to. To do what is right. The slow but important progress on issues like gender equality and neurodiversity demonstrate that we can change if we collectively decide that we want to be better.
It’s time to face up to the reality of racism.
And end it.
As a cyber security community, it is no longer good enough for us to be silent and ‘do no harm’. We must take proactive and decisive steps to ‘do good’.
This means each of us looking at the things we do. And the things we can control. To see where we can make changes. No matter how uncomfortable this might be.
Use this list as a starter to change, challenge, and evolve:
Have you got Black leaders in your leadership teams and on your board?
Are opportunities for employment in your organisation just as easy to access for Black candidates as they are white?
When we look at the images, marketing material and assets you produce, do they contain positive representations of Black people, or are they overwhelmingly white?.
Do you host or participate in events which have no Black speakers?
Are you a part of communities, groups and clubs that would find it strange or awkward to have Black people partake and join in?
Are you only investing in white founders?
Are you writing about and promoting brilliant technologies and businesses developed, led and operated by Black people?
Are there people in your groups that think it’s ok to say things that are inappropriate about Black people and feel safe doing so?
This list isn’t exhaustive. But it’s a start.
We also know other people of colour experience racism too. It’s abhorrent in all its forms, not just racism that affects Black people. Right now, we are speaking out in support of Black people knowing that by addressing this specific racism, the most prevalent and deep-rooted type, we make things better for us all.
Now is not the time for hollow words or empty excuses. It’s a time for collective action and leadership.
It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.
As a community of cyber security professionals and businesses, we have come together to pledge our commitment to taking action in our personal spheres of influence. And to actively ensure equality within our businesses and our industry.
Together, we want to live in a fairer, kinder and more equal world.
We invite you to stand with us and ask yourself if you are doing enough to help put an end to this issue once and for all.
Some actions you can take now include:
Speak to your HR department
Speak to your leadership team
Share the pledge #VersusRacism
Share the actions you take #VersusRacism
Read the resources we link to