The Director-General, Cyber Security Authority (CSA), Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako, has called on cyber security experts in the West Africa sub-region to drive their mindset towards interoperability to help tackle cyber threats in the sub-region.

He said the digitalisation of economies, governments, and societies had been a transformative process that had led to numerous benefits, which had in turn contributed significantly to socio-economic development.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako said this during the opening of a three-day West African Symposium on Sector Collaboration and Information Sharing among Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), geared towards protecting global cyberspace.

The event intends to share ideas and build capacity towards a safe and resilient cyber ecosystem in the sub-region, Africa, and the world at large

The symposium had in attendance 24 cyber security practitioners, from 11 partner nations: Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Ghana.

“Unfortunately, as technology advanced, so did cyber threats, making it imperative for state and non-state actors to build the relevant skills, knowledge, and infrastructure needed to safeguard our digital ecosystems, hence the need for information sharing,” the Director-General noted.

He said Ghana’s National Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) ecosystem had benefited from training including Creating and Managing CSIRTs and Foundations of Incident Management, organised in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

He said international collaboration was a key mandate of Ghana’s Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) and membership of the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) was a testament to this.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako said Ghana’s National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-GH) officially joined FIRST in May 2021 through the support and sponsorship of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

“As one instance, CERT-GH is able to respond to an incident involving the leakage of the personally identifiable information of citizens on a cryptocurrency trading website in the country, thanks to an alert received from a FIRST liaison member in January 2024,” he added.

He said the membership of other international bodies such as Africa CERT similarly supported their efforts to improve the country’s cybersecurity resilience through collaboration, information sharing and capacity building.

The Director-General said to achieve effective cybersecurity incident response coordination, the Authority was mandated to establish Sectoral CERT to collect, collate, and coordinate responses to cybersecurity incidents within sectors under Section 44(1) of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038).

He commended the SEI for its vision to conduct regional events for CSIRTs, their stakeholders, and other cybersecurity partners to strengthen collaboration, information sharing, and trust among regional community member states.

“I would also like to commend the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy for committing resources to the organisation of this event,” he added.

Dr Angel Hueca, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, said one of the major ways to avoid Cyber threats in the sub-region was to work collaboratively.

He said with language being a barrier in the West African sub-region, some technologies would assist in communication in the sub-region.

Dr Hueca said the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy had been engaged with several West African countries for several years, performing bilateral engagements with the embassies and workshops as a way of supporting West African countries to advance in the Cyber Security fight.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.