Accra, Oct 2, GNA – Government is working hard to put in place a national framework to guide the country in dealing with cyber security incidents, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, the Minister of Communications, has said.
He said in July this year, a validation workshop for the country’s draft cyber security policy and strategy was held to prepare the document for the Government’s approval for implementation, stressing that, “Ghana is keen on developing its cyber security community and ecosystem”.
Dr Omane Boamah said this, in a speech delivered on his behalf, in Accra, by Mr Edward Ato Sarpong, the Deputy Minister of Communications, at a two-day training workshop and regional symposium on cyber security.
The workshop was organised by the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FISRT) and Africa Computer Emergency Response Teams (AFRICACERT), on the theme, “Joining Forces to Promote Cyber Security in Africa”.
The Minister said Ghana had established a national Computer Incidents Response Teams (CERT-GH) through its proactive activities to the Government network operators and other Internet Service Providers.
He noted that there had been a continuous improvement of protection of these networks that had resulted in minimised cyber-attacks on them.
He said CERT-GH successfully restored 11 government websites hacked in January 2015, and had since responded effectively to several other cyber security incidents.
Dr Omane Boamah said Cyber Security was among the challenges of Africa, explaining that as technology gaps in internet connectivity were improving, the volume of internet-enabled devices were increasing.
However, cyber threat continued to evolve in severity and sophistication.
He explained that there were many efforts to tackle the cyber security challenges in Africa at the national, public, private sector, and individual levels.
However, there were many inconsistencies that made it difficult for Africa to present a united front against cyber security issues.
Dr Omane Boamah observed that in providing a lasting solution, therefore, there was a need for collaborative efforts and cooperation, especially among the government, security agencies, IT professionals, and public and private sectors to align laws, and build capacity and policies.
The Communication Minister, who reminded participants of their responsibilities to use the knowledge acquired during the training to improve the safety of cyberspace, instead of for unethical usage, also urged them to work together with their national CERTS towards improving response to incidents.
In his remarks, Mr Albert Enninful, the Deputy Director General, National Communication Authority (NCA), said the NCA had recognised efforts made by all stakeholders to highlight the challenges as well as the measures needed to manage issues relating to cyber-crime.
He said cyber security was of importance as physical security was and proposed the need to create awareness on the use of Cloud services.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Jean Robert Hountomey, the Chief Executive Officer, AfricaCERT, described AfricaCERT, “as internet engineers who periodically put together initiatives to connect African countries in solving issues relating to cyber security.”
He told GNA that the group detected cyber threats within the internet infrastructure and addressing those issues required several steps including; Capacity Building efforts, policy and implementation, and cooperation with stakeholders within the continent.
In an interview with GNA, Professor Nii Narku Quaynor, the Chairman of AfricaCERT Council of Elders, also stated that every country needed a response team to mobilise all the requisite for solving challenges.
On the country’s level of cyber security; he said Ghana was perhaps at the same level as the typical African country, explaining that, “ When Ghana did not have much fibre, we did not experience many cyber security problems.”
However, he stated that Ghana was safe as far as cyber security measures were concerned, but it was still important for the country to move faster as one of the first countries to have internet within the continent”.