Cyber crimes pose security threat — Minister

xxxDr. Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications, has said that criminal activities in cyber space go beyond internet fraud (“sakawa”), since it can be used to destabilise the country.

He said recent developments around the world, indicated that cyber crimes were being used to halt social and economic activities, in a jiffy, in some countries.

Dr. Boamah said this, when he opened a day’s validation workshop on the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy in Accra yesterday.

The workshop brought stakeholders in internet services and networking under one umbrella to brainstorm and update a draft policy intended to inject sanity into cyber space internet usage.

Dr. Boamah said as a result of the emerging threat the cyber space posed to the country’s security, it had become necessary to develop a policy to regulate and monitor the activities to bring some level of trust and confidence in the system.

He said such a policy must be made to address any threat and also ensure that the country’s cyber space was well protected to mitigate any negative impact that could come from that direction.

Dr. Boamah said although there were many existing legal frameworks to tackle the issue of criminal activities in cyber space, “such laws are limited in scope to deal with the emerging challenges”.

Dr. Boamah gave the assurance that Ghana would not stand alone to fight the threat posed by cyber space activities, but would collaborate with other countries for that crusade.

He said the current situation without any policy guidance, could be disastrous for the country in the near future; therefore everything must be done to put the necessary legal framework in place to protect the interest of the nation.

Dr. Boamah said as a starting point before the final implementation of a policy, a Computer Emergency Response Unit had been established to deal with any developing case as it emerged.

Mr Ernest Brown, President of Ghana Internet Service Providers Association (GISPA), said protecting businesses and infrastructure from cyber attacks was crucial to the economic growth of the country.

He said it was imperative for the country to have a common document which would govern how the country’s cyber space could be protected from unwarranted cyber-attacks.

“I am sure that some of you here today have implemented cyber security enhancements in your firms and it would be important to share those ideas as we look at developing a policy in that direction,” he said.

He said the success of the workshop would largely depend on stakeholders’ involvement in developing a sound policy, adding that “GISPA would be involved in the process to the logical conclusion”.

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