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How Ghanaian Internet Users Can Protect Themselves From Cyber Attacks

cyber crime secuirty ghana

Governments are scrambling to catch the culprits behind the cyber attacks that are disrupting operations at large organizations across the globe. Cyber security experts say the spread of the worm dubbed WannaCry locked up more than 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries.

Ghana lost a total of $50 million dollars to cyber-attack in 2016. Africa, as a whole, lost two billion dollars to cyber attacks the same year.

Ghanaian organisations, according to a study by Internet Solutions, are vulnerable to such attacks particularly those in the financial sector. Measures put in place by these organisations are described by experts as woefully inadequate against potential threats.

The threat of cyber attacks prompts multiple questions about cyber security in Ghana:

  • What kind of cyber threats are Ghanaians exposed to?
  • How damaging are these threats to organisations that deal with big data?
  • What can be done to salvage the situation?
  • What is the role of government agencies such as the Ministry of Communications, NITA and the Data Protection Commission in fighting cyber threats?
  • What should Ghanaians know in protecting themselves against the threats?

How Can Ghanaians Protect Themselves from Cyber Attacks?

The recent Accra TechSalon hosted by Penplusbytes focused on how Ghana can protect herself from cyber attacks, including:

  • Cyber security laws in Ghana;
  • Chances of cyber threats against Ghanaians
  • How Ghana can combat cyber-crimes
  • Preparedness of Ghana’s cyber security system.

The Salon provided avenue to further understand the landscape of Ghana’s Cyber Security and some recommendations were made to help improve Ghana’s cyber security system and how individuals can navigate online safely with the help of key stakeholders, including:

  • Head of the Computer Emergency Response Team, NITA
  • K Bruce, Consultant, IT Governance and Information security
  • Mohammed Bako, Ghana Police Service
  • Albert Antwi-Boasiako, Ministry of Communications
  • George Asiamah Esq., Ministry of National Security

Also in the discussion were with young and vibrant techpreneurs, IT agencies, and ordinary citizens interested in cyber security as discussants,

Cyber Security is a Social Issue

During the discussions, it was advised to tackle cyber security as a social issue and therefore deal with it in a more social perspective. Participants were made aware of the Cyber Criminal Unit in Ghana under the Police Service which serves as the sole unit dedicated to cyber issues like cyber bullying, threats and attacks.

It was revealed that the Ministry of Communication’s current administration has developed a cyber security strategy and will be implementing cyber security measures to the various sectors of the economy, which they have at present put in place. This initiative will be coordinated by the center’s Cyber Security Unit to protect all Ghanaians against cyber-attacks.

Legal Aspects to Cyber Crimes

Participants were engaged in series of discussions bordering the Ghana Electronic Transactions Act to fight against online criminalities and the appointment of the Cyber Security Adviser to implement policies to ensure there is a governance structure in place. Since most attacks are individual based, participants were advised to make conscious efforts to protect their data and security information.

Recommendations were made to enforce cyber security laws, embark on capacity development initiatives to make Ghana self-reliant to deal with Cyber Security issues in the next 5 years.

The Ministry of Communication stated emphatically that they are readily prepared to collaborate with the other Ministries to help tackle cyber security. An appeal was made to CSOs to support the security agencies by providing them with tools or products to aid in tackling the issue of cyber security in Ghana.

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