Ghana’s National Cyber Security Advisor, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, has underscored the need for institutional heads to take the security of their electronic mediums very seriously as data keeps growing faster, in order to modernise the Ghanaian economy.

According to him, the country is seriously putting in place robust cyber security systems, policies and legislations to protect the country’s cyber space as well as from cyber attacks.

On the backdrop of this, Dr. Antwi-Boasiako, charged all CEOs of state agencies and organisations to build the capacity of their staff on good cyber hygiene practices in order not to expose state data to hackers.

He was speaking on day three of the climax week of the 2019 National Cyber Security Awareness Month dubbed: “Demonstrating Ghana’s Cybersecurity Readiness”, at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Teshie, on Wednesday 23rd October, 2019.

In his presentation at the Cybersecurity Workshop for Government Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), he urged the CEOs to consider data as gold in the current fourth industrial revolution. Therefore, state agencies and organisations must protect the country’s data and systems from cyber attacks.

He emphasized that, “CEOs of state enterprises and organisations must also take steps to protect their personal electronic data devices so as to protect sensitive and classified state information they are privy to…from hackers.”

He disclosed research has shown that, the Ghana is ranked ninth on the country index of active users of social-media, which indicates that, most Ghanaians uses most of their time on the internet doing one thing or the other.

The National Security Advisor, indicated that, across the globe many companies have lost vital information through poor cyber practices. He however said, there is the need for intensive education in both the government and private institutions to enhance good cybersecurity cultures including the use of original anti-virus to protect data.

Dr. Antwi-Boasiako, further disclosed that, the National Cyber Security Bill would be passed into law by the first quarter of next year. Adding that, “The passage of the bill into law will among others help transform the National Cyber Security Centre into an Authority, establish a national cyber security fund and also give a legal backing to the centre to prosecute people who will engage in cyber crime.”

However, he said, government is doing its bit towards that and so the various institutions and agencies under the government must also put in more effort in order to achieve the digitization agenda of mother Ghana.

The Director General of the State Interest and Governance Authority, Mr. Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, in his remarks said, the promotion of cyber security would be one of the key performance indicators in the area of the performance contract that would be signed with CEOs of state agencies and organisations.

He therefore, urged the various CEOs of state agencies and organisations to pay particular attention to Information Technology (IT), by including cyber security issues in their annual programmes and budget same to implement cyber security measures to protect the data of their organisations.

According to him, times have changed therefore, CEOs consciously migrate from the old culture of paper works to the use of electronic mediums which deliver reports in real time.

The Director General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr. Joe Anokye, also schooled the CEOs on the essentials of cyber security and its associated threats and the programmes and policies of the Authority, to promote cybersecurity in Ghana.

However, he warned internet users to be careful in downloading unknown sites, as some of them have some features which could pose serious threats to users.

The Deputy Director General of the National Information Technology Agency, Mr. Kwaku Kyei Ofori, also noted that, some best practices like data backups and strong passwords have the tendency to protect institution’s devices from being compromised or exposed to hackers.

Therefore, he advanced people to be careful not to share their passwords with third parties or mention it aloud as has been the norm.

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