The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD) in collaboration with the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) has formally launched the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) aimed at promoting capacity building and awareness creation to ultimately improve cyber security as well as strengthen the country’s national cyber resilience.
Speaking on the theme:
‘Regulating Cybersecurity: A Public-Private Sector Collaborative Approach’’, the Deputy Minister, Ms Pomaa-Boateng (MP) said the theme was adopted to reflect the heightened need for cooperation between the private sector and state actors on cybersecurity Cooperation at the domestic levels which was essential for the successful implementation of the Cyber Security Act, 2020 (Act 1038).
She underscored that celebrating the NCSAM also forms part of the global efforts to raise awareness on cybercrime trends, cybersecurity issues and cyber hygiene practices as well as to dialogue and highlight the growing cybersecurity issues under specific thematic areas.
She said there were various activities that have been earmarked for the month-long celebration as part of measures to enhance the public-private sector understanding of the Cyber security law.
According to her, the celebration was again intended to provide the platform for industry players and stakeholders to make input into the activities currently being implemented by the CSA. This, she said was a follow-up on the 2021 activities which focused on the role of stakeholders in the implementation of the Cyber Security Act which was passed into law last year.
The Acting Director-General of CSA, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boaiako emphasized the CSA’a mandate of protecting Critical Information Infrastructures (CIIs), pursuant to Sections 35 to 40 of the Cyber Security Act, 2020 (Act 1038); coordinating Incident Response in both private and public sectors, pursuant to Sections 41 to 48; awareness creation on Cyber security matters, pursuant to Section 60 and other related functions of the Authority require collaboration for effective implementation. In addition, the nature of cyberspace and associated technologies including the internet requires international collaboration for an effective response to cyber security incidents.
Consequently, this year’s celebration is to highlight the need for such collaborations and encourage the needed partnerships to implement Act 1038.
In July 2017, His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, directed the then Ministry of Communications to oversee Cyber security development in Ghana and pursuant to that effect the National Cyber Security Secretariat was established to coordinate Ghana’s Cyber security efforts by implementing strategic initiatives for a secure and resilient digital Ghana.
The Secretariat transitioned into the National Cyber Security Centre and is now, the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), following the passage of the Cyber security Act, 2020 (Act 1038) in December 2020.
The period leading to the passage of the Act witnessed a number of critical interventions, as the government anticipated the need for robust Cyber security to support our country’s digital transformation agenda.
Again, the Convention on Cybercrime, also known as the Budapest Convention and the African Union Convention on Cyber Security & Personal Data Protection also known as the Malabo Convention were adopted and ratified by Parliament.
Subsequently, the annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) was also institutionalized, making October each year, a month for cyber security awareness creation.
Programs Implementation by the Ministry
Ms Pomaa-Boateng noted that the launch of the Cybercrime/Cyber security Incident Reporting Points of Contact (PoC) in October 2019 had achieved impact as it provided citizens with multiple avenues and channels to report cyber-related incidents and to receive assistance and guidance from CSA.
“This year alone, as at the end of the third quarter, a total of 9,769 contacts have been received through the various points of contact of which 431 were recorded as actual Cyber security incidents and 5,389 as direct advisories. This means that over 5,000 incidents which could have caused various degrees of losses to victims were prevented, and several amounts of money were saved. The top five most reported incidents include Online Fraud, Unauthorised Access to protected systems, Online Blackmail, Online Impersonation and Publication of Non-consensual Intimate Images” she mentioned
She said the development of the Computer Emergency Response Ecosystem by the ministry has brought improvement in incident reporting and response, specifically in the financial and telecommunications sectors.
She said the government also partnered with the Council of Europe and the World Bank, to organise capacity building and training for judges, prosecutors, and other key stakeholders in cybercrime prevention and electronic evidence gathering for effective prosecution of cybercrimes and computer-aided offences.
These developments established the critical pillars of Ghana’s national Cyber security development. Consequently, the 2020 ITU Global Cyber security Index (GCI) report scored Ghana’s Cyber security development at 86.69%, a major improvement from our earlier rating in 2017 which was 32.6%.
The program highly participated including representation for the Office of the Vice President, H.E Dr Alhaji Mahamud Bawumia; the Minister For National Security, Hon. Albert Kan Dapaah; the Minister for Information, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (MP); the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of the Rwandan National Cyber Security Authority Colonel David Kanamugire; the Chairman of the National Information and Communications Technology Institute of Mozambique, Prof. Lourino Alberto Chemane; Member of the Diplomatic Corps; Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications; Board of Directors; Heads of Security and State Institutions; CEOs from Private Sector institutions; representatives from Civil Society Organisations and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana academic community.