General News of Thursday, 30 January 2020
National Cybersecurity advisor Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako says Ghana has much to do in order to be able to defend itself from any attack in its cyberspace.
According to Dr Antwi-Boasiako, the fact that individuals and even organizations fall for the simplest of scams speaks to how much work is required in securing the country’s cyberspace.
Starr News’ Ibrahim Alhassan caught up with Dr. Antwi-Boasiako at the Cybertech 2020 conference in Tel Aviv and first asked him whether Ghana is ready for any possible attack in its cyberspace given current happenings around the world.
“I wouldn’t say we’re ready. The state of readiness ought to be established by a number of factors; the state of awareness of the citizens as users of digital devices. So if I say we’re ready and if you examine our awareness level when we’re even being defrauded by basic scams I don’t think that will be very scientific enough”.
Dr. Antwi-Boasiako however stated a number of interventions being rolled up are yielding positive results.
“What I’ll say is we’ve made huge progress within the last 3 years in terms of our interventions in that space. One of them is awareness creation by the launch of the safer digital Ghana by the vice president that has gone on very well”.
According to him ratification of the Budapest convention and the African Union convention on Cybersecurity and personal data protection by parliamt has boosted Ghana’s image in terms of level of seriousness attached to the threats of the cyberspace.
Dr. Antwi-Boasiako stated participation of Ghana at this year’s Cybertech conference is to enable the country learn from best practices and also establish collaborations.
“Cybertech is a global event that attracts a lot of players both from the demand and supply side as you can see. Ghana has been an active participant of this program because one, we need to benchmark what we are doing domestically to see if the initiatives we’ve taken are consistent with international global best practices”.
Cybersecurity is a global commodity, Cyber is a global product and I think whether you’re in a developing country or a developed country we are all subjected to the same laws of demand and supply. So it’s always good to cross-check from other players to ensure that you stay on course”.
MoU with Israel
Minister of Communications Ursula Owusu Ekufful who is also at the conference signed a framework agreement with her counterpart in Israel for Ghana to leverage on the experience of that country in the area of cyber technology.
“For the state of Israel I think Ghana is pursuing a relationship with this country and the minister herself was here to engage with the minister of Communications of Israel on a potential memorandum of understanding that will facilitate further engagements, formalize cooperations to enhance Ghana’s Cybersecurity with respect to information sharing, with respect to skill development, with respect to provision of technical assistance to be able to also come up to a level. Israel is one of the key players globally and I think it is good to learn from them, where they have gotten to and we have excellent cooperation with their ministry of foreign affairs, their embassy back home and we seek to build upon that”.
Private Sector Participation
The Ghanaian private sector was equally well represented with players from the banking, health and energy sector. This Dr Antwi-Boasiako believes is critical to the quest to pursue an all-inclusive agenda in securing Ghana’s cyberspace
“This further highlights the sense of awareness that’s being created within Ghana’s domestic ecosystem on the need for us to improve our collective cyber resilience,” he stated.