Ghana

Let’s tackle cyber security threats to safeguard digital assets

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for concerted efforts in tackling emerging cyber security threats that has the potential of impeding socio-economic development.

He said digitalisation of economies and societies had been a transformative process contributing significantly to socio-economic development, hence the need for the required infrastructure to safeguard digital assets and internet securities.

“Advancement in technology has led to advances in cyber threats, making it imperative for state and non-state actors to build infrastructure needed to safeguard digital assets and internet securities,” he noted.

This was contained in a speech read on his behalf by the Senior Presidential Advisor, Mr Yaw Osafo-Marfo, during the opening of a two-day Global Conference on Cyber Capacity Building (GC3B) aimed at improving awareness of decision makers on cyber capacity building, and strengthening global coordination efforts in Accra.

Held on the theme, “Cyber Resilience for Development”, the event was attended by more than 800 participants from 100 countries across the globe.

It was organised collaboratively with the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, Cyber Security Authority, Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GECE), the Cyber Peace Institute, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum.

President Akufo-Addo stated that, cybercriminals were currently threatening the digital development of the country due to increased internet penetration and access to Informational Communication and Technology (ICT) tools.

He said, a research conducted by Cyber Security Ventures, indicated that the damages incurred by all forms of cybercrime, including the cost of recovery and remediation, totalledUS$3 trillion in 2015, US$6 trillion in 2021, and could reach US$10.5 trillion annually by 2025.

“These challenges call for the need for governments, businesses, and stakeholders within the cyber ecosystem to collaborate and cooperate integrating holistic strategies that will address these complex threats,” he stated.

The President said there was the need to engage in holistic conversations and debates on cyber capacity building and its impact on social and economic development by implementing the existing best cyber practices and cyber norms.

“As a country we are putting in place deliberate mechanisms to safeguard our digital infrastructure; this is evident by the passage of the Cybersecurity Act 2020 (Act 1038) with relevant provisions to regulate cybersecurity activities and to promote the development of cybersecurity in the country,” he noted.

The Minister of Communications and Digitialisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said Ghana was actively pursuing cybersecurity initiatives using International Telecommunications Union recommendations to ensure a safe and resilient cyberspace for sustainable digital transformation for the benefit of the country and sun-region at large.

In the second quarter of this year, the Minister said, the continent had experienced the highest average number of weekly cyber-attacks per organisation, with an average of 2,164 attacks.

“I am happy to report that Ghana raised its score on the 2021 ITU Global Cybersecurity Index to 86.69 per cent, up from 32.6 per cent in 2017. To accomplish even better for our entire sub-region, we seek partnerships and worldwide cooperation,” she stated.

MrsOwusu-Ekuful noted that, the borderless nature of cyberspace and the increased interdependence on ICT reiterate the need for all of countries to prioritise cooperation in dealing with the challenges.

“It is important for governments across the world to develop a vibrant cyber security ecosystem and to grow a steady and robust supply of cyber security workforce,” she said.

The President of GECE, Mr Chris Painter said the “Accra Call for Cyber Resilient Development” was an opportunity for countries to come together to discuss and share ideas on cyber capacity  building to strengthen the role of cyber resilience.

BY CECILIA LAGBA YADA