INFORMATION and communication technology (ICT), has become a key component of socio-economic and political development of countries all over the world.
Ghana like all other countries depend on this technological advancement, but not without suffering from its attendant negative consequences.
Many unsuspecting internet users in the country and abroad, have lost huge sums of money and property through cyber crime.
Additionally, though the internet has become an effective medium for teaching, learning and information gathering and dissemination, some miscreants use the network to spread false messages about people through websites and social media.
To stop these miscreants from the misuse of the technology, Ghana has, joined other countries in search of solutions to cyber crime that appears to be an obstacle against progress, instead of becoming an effective tool for development.
In fact, it is notoriously associated with different forms of crime, to the extent that it has assumed its own name known popularly as ‘Sakawa’.
Indeed, Cyber Green World Rankinas, a teaching international cyber company, has ranked Ghana 108 globally and ninth Africa, on the cyber security index.
It is, therefore, not surprising that cabinet has finally approved a national cyber security policy, formulated to protect public and private infrastructure against cyber attacks.
The policy which basically designed to check cyber crime committed on the internet, was drafted last year, by the Ministry of Communications in collaboration with its agencies, including the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) and Computers Emergency Response Team (CERT), Ghana.
Speaking to The Ghanaian Times, on the sidelines of a stakeholders meeting in Accra last week, the head of CERT, Mr Eric Akumiah, explained that the policy had become necessary, considering the rate of internet fraud and cyber crime being committed by unscrupulous persons since the inception of internet in the country.
The criminal activities he admitted had led to huge losses to individuals, while others suffered blackmail with huge financial loss, making the debate on cyber crime a priority for all African countries.
According to Mr Akumiah, “the policy will help establish a national cyber security centre to coordinate all cyber incidences, initiative and enforce laws or standards that will be adopted to check the menace in the country. It will also empower state institutions to enforce cyber regulations”.
Undoubtedly, the internet has become an albatross around our necks and removing it, would not be any easy task. However, it appears the policy would provide us the appropriate way forward.
The Times thinks that, there is no other alternative means to deal with the menace rather than to embrace the policy and implement it to the letter, so that Ghana can be placed on a better position on the international ranking on cyber security.
It is, therefore, important for all to rally behind the government and stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the policy, to stop criminals to continue to use the ICT as conduit to defraud members of the public.