Dr Thomas Mensah, Chairman, Silicon Valley of Ghana, has advised Ghanaian institutions to develop an organizational culture to manage cybersecurity risks to systems, people, assets, data and capabilities.
He said this measure, when put in place would improve the cybersecurity readiness and resilience.
Additionally, he said, businesses must develop and implement appropriate safeguards to ensure the delivery of critical services, build capacity of staff by conducting regular staff awareness trainings.
Furthermore, they must conduct periodic risk assessments to understand threats and solutions associated with people, processes and technology, and regularly review information security policies and procedures, among others.
Dr Mensah gave the advice during the 10th Anniversary Celebration of e-Crime Bureau in Accra. The celebration was marked on the theme: “Celebrating 10 years of Cyber Security Excellence”.
He said remote working during this COVID-19 period, and the upward surge in the use of digital platforms to conduct business had made everyone more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
“It is worth noting that cyber security is critical for all organisations, whether large or small. Micro, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises are the backbone of the Ghanaian economy as they represent about 85 percent of businesses, largely within the private sector contributing to about 70 percent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said.
Dr Mensah said Ghana in 2011, had an internet penetration rate of 8.4 percent. However, the figure had grown exponentially to 50 percent in 2021 with over 15.7 million Ghanaians connected to the internet. This, he said, had caused the impact of cybersecurity exploits to grow just as rapidly.
He said the emergence of Information Technology (IT)-facilitated crimes had become one of the many challenges confronting adjudications of criminal offences especially with presenting satisfactory evidence in the court of law to ensure successful criminal prosecution.
Dr Mensah said dealing with criminal issues within a digitized economy was highly complex, as such, a definite roadmap had to be designed to tackle them.
“We must come to a point of appreciating the reality of the cybercrime landscape and make frantic efforts to invest in technology to guarantee the security we desire in a way to support government and security agencies address teething issues of technology confronting our society today,” he said.
He lauded e-Crime Bureau for their achievements over a decade and entreated them to continue providing the requisite support and solutions to address the many cyber security challenges being faced by organizations.
Dr Mensah urged corporate bodies and institutions to participate in the Bureau’s 10th Anniversary programmes lined up through training sessions, sensitization campaigns and media outreach programmes.
Dr Kwame Antwi-Boasiako, Board Member, e-Crime Bureau, said at the time his younger brother, Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako started the Bureau, Ghana was not familiar with the subject of CyberCrime and its related activities.
However, they bought into the dream and started on a small note being hopeful that it would survive.
He said for the past ten years, they had entered into partnerships with notable institutions such as the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT where they opened a cyber laboratory.
Also, they have embarked on collaborative projects with the Criminal Investigations Department, provided investigative analysis in the area of cybercrime for the Judiciary, and many more.
Bishop Dr Suzanne Nti, Board Member, e-Crime Bureau, thanked the stakeholders for having faith in e-Crime Bureau right from its inception.
She urged business owners to allow their staff the opportunity to dream big and buy into their initiatives.
“My advice to all staff of e-Crime Bureau is that we need to forge ahead and see what God will do. He will do exceedingly and abundantly above all that you can think or dream. Let us have our dream for the future, which is to see e-Crime Bureau in every country in Africa,” she said.
e-Crime Bureau is a cybersecurity and investigations firm, which has since 2011 provided unparalleled cyber security, digital forensics, training and capacity building and other investigation related consultancy services for organisations across various sectors.
These include public sector institutions, banking, savings and loans, rural banks, security/law enforcement, energy, telecommunication, mining, among others.
Among their core areas of expertise is vulnerability assessment and penetration testing, digital forensics, cyber and security intelligence, incident response, gap analysis, intrusion detection, cyber security risk assessment and management, information security policy, software documentation and testing, industry standard technology solutions, training, etc.