Cyber Security Fund urgently required to tackle challenges - Dr Antwi-Boasiako

Thursday 16th May, 2019
Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako
By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, May 16, GNA - Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako, the National Cyber Security Advisor, has called for the establishment of a National Cyber Security Fund to mobilise diverse funding sources towards protecting the country's cyber security architecture.

This would help establish a more resilient defence against threats posed by cyber criminals.

He said the nation could no longer rely on the paltry funds received from the Consolidated Fund to manage cyber security challenges, considering the sophistication of cyber criminals in their daily dealings.

He saidd that 75 per cent of the cyber security breaches were financially motivated, therefore it was urgent to tackle it with all seriousness.

The Cyber Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service recently announced that Ghana lost US$105 million and US$65 million in 2018 and 2017 respectively, through cybercrime.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako, therefore, called for the establishment of a National Cyber Security Authority to regulate the country's cyber security industry and safeguard its digital infrastructure.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako made the call in a presentation during a panel discussion on the topic:"Cyber Security Information Management and Knowledge Management" at the Ghana Digital Roadmap Conference, in Accra on Thursday.

It was organised by the Vice President's Secretariat and the Ministry of Communications.

The conference brought together key stakeholders in the ICT industry, academia, other stakeholders in the industry, policy-makers and Ministers of State, and aimed at maximising the country's digital assets for the benefit of the local economy.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako expressed worry about the wanton proliferation of fake news and video recordings on the social media, noting that such fake news has the potential of undermining the country's peace and security.

He cited instances where people created and circulated videos of people voting during the last elections when polls had not opened, which created unnecessary tension.

He called for the formulation of a cyber security legislation that would deal decisively with cybercrime and cyber related offences.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako said the country adopted a National Cyber Security Strategy in 2016, but that document is being revised and very soon the public would be given the opportunity to make inputs to ensure a robust and holistic strategy to deal with cyber security issues.

He lauded government's policy to ensure only email system created by the National Information Technology Agency could be used for government business and transactions to protect vital state information from getting into wrong hands.

Mr Derrydean Dadzie, the Executive Coordinator of the Ghana Technology Chamber, on his part, underlined the need for the country to properly store and protect its central database to benefit the citizenry in terms of the delivery of public services.

Mr Samresh Ramjith a Partner at Cyber Security, Ernest and Young, an ICT firm, contributing to the discussion, advised Ghanaians to refrain from posting their location information and children's pictures on the various social media platforms since cyber criminals could harvest them for their fraudulent activities.

Mr Samuel Aluku, the Associate Director and Technology Advisory Lead, KPMG-Ghana, on his part, urged Ghanaians to be abreast with the Data Protection Act in order to safeguard their privacy.

He lauded the Bank of Ghana for rolling out cyber security guidelines for banks and institutions that operated within the banking and financial sectors to protect customers data from getting into wrong hands.