The Communications Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has disclosed that government is working on a law to improve the country’s cybersecurity environment.

She said the World Bank and Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre of the Oxford University’s assessment on the country’s protection of Internet-connected systems from cyber attacks has shown there is a “long way to go.”

Taking her turn at the Meet the Press series in Accra, Thursday, the Ablekuma West MP said, “our digitization efforts and the introduction of a number of e-services in Ghana have exposed the country and people to possible cyber attacks and vulnerabilities.”

She said these are in government’s effort to help “counter these potential threats certain deliberate measures have been instituted by the Ministry. 

The Ministry in October this year implemented a Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) programme dubbed “A Safer Digital Ghana” to educate the citizenry on the dangers associated with the use of technology and the need to take cybersecurity issues serious.

Gov't working on law to improve cybersecurity environment

The initiative, according to the Minister “will be sustained to help consolidate our efforts at securing Ghana’s digital journey by creating awareness on cyber risks and developing build a culture of cybersecurity among citizens.”

The Ministry has established the National Cyber Security Centre to coordinate cybersecurity activities both in government and the private sector. It is responsible for national cybersecurity awareness creation and cyber security incident coordination.

The National Communications Authority and the World Bank contributed to the establishment of the Centre, which is responsible for national cybersecurity awareness creation and cybersecurity incident coordination.

”In view of the escalating cyber-attacks targeting the financial sector, the Bank of Ghana working in collaboration with the Communications Ministry and the Association of Bankers launched a Cyber and Information Security Directive for the Financial Industry to support cyber risk management in the financial sector,” she said.

Gov't working on law to improve cybersecurity environment

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful added that to this effect, government has acceded to two important international treaties on cybersecurity namely: the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection (Malabo Convention) and Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention).

According to her, “These two international treaties are expected to enhance Ghana’s cooperation with other countries at the policy, technical and operational levels in dealing with cybercrime and cybersecurity challenges.

She disclosed that her Ministry is currently reviewing the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy for Cabinet’s consideration and adoption in early 2019.

“As indicated in the 2019 Budget, the government will set up a National Cyber Security Authority (NCSA) to oversee Ghana’s cybersecurity especially the protection of Critical National Information Infrastructures (CNIIs) in line with global trends and best practices. A Cyber Security Law is in the offing,” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said.

Gov't working on law to improve cybersecurity environment

The Minister explained that following from cybersecurity breaches suffered by some MDAs including the Data Protection Commission (DPC), Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and Finance Ministry, the Cyber Security Secretariat developed advisories to help
MDAs improve their cybersecurity environment.

“NITA is currently working with the World Bank to deploy a secured network across government institutions and this is expected to help improve the general cybersecurity situation in the public sector,” she said.