The Minister for Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has enjoined Ghanaians from of all walks of life - school children, parents, the public and businesses to join the government in the fight against cybercrimes. She says cybercrimes constitute one of the many challenges engendered by the growth of internet penetration in the country and threatens to mar its many benefits.
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful was speaking at the launching of this year’s Cyber Security Awareness Month as well as the Cybersecurity Incident Reporting Points of Contact (PoCs) in Accra on Tuesday, October 1.
The month-long observation will see educational and awareness creation activities and training workshops across the country, while the PoCs will serve as centres through which cyber-related incidents can be reported and mitigated by appropriate agencies.
She said over the years Ghana has seen a significant increase in the adoption of various technologies by businesses across all sectors, with internet penetration currently at 35 per cent (10.3 million internet users).
“Nonetheless, this growth which has associated benefits such as convenience, ease of transactions, increased access to information, also present significant challenges associated with internet penetration that threatens to mar its integrity and positive phenomenon, one of which is cybercrimes with its accompanying implications such as the exposure of valuable personal data, financial losses and reputational damage.”
She was happy for the setting up of the PoCs, saying that while there are low incidents of reporting cybercrimes, where to report such incidents has been a major hindrance.
The Communications Minister also indicated that by the end of this year, the government shall have one electronic payment platform for the payment of all goods and services provided for or by government.
Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako, the National Cybersecurity Advisor and Mr Kwasi Adu-Gyan, Director-General of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, stressed the many dangers and losses accruing to the country through cybercrimes and called for sustained efforts to curb the threat of cybercrime.
Mr Adu-Gyan said, “The recent spate of hacking of websites in the sub-region and social media accounts of some individuals and have raised serious concerns on security, data privacy, trust and internet governance in Africa.
"The numerous shocking incidents and the associated financial losses are huge. In 2017, the financial loss brought about by cybercrime in Ghana exceeded US$69 Million, Ghana reportedly lost USD105 million last year through various forms of cybercrime. It must be noted that this is almost twice what was recorded in the previous year 2017. Further estimates indicate that Ghana had lost USD97 million as of August this year to cybercrime."