State agencies need robust cyber security systems —National Cyber Security Advisor

State agencies and organisations must put robust cyber security systems and measures in place to protect their data, the National Cyber Security Advisor, Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako has said.

That, he said, was crucial to protect their data from hackers, in view of the growing cyber threats across the world.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako, gave the advice in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday after a cyber security workshop for chief executive officers (CEOs) of state agencies and organisations, and said the country’s digitalisation and Ghana beyond Aid agenda had created the need for state agencies to protect the country’s data resources.

The programme, which was attended by thirty CEOs and formed part of activities to mark this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month being organised by the Ministry of Communications and the National Cyber Security Centre, was on the theme, ‘Demonstrating Ghana’s cyber security readiness.’

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Dr Antwi-Boasiako who took the CEOs through the country’s cyber security policies, programmes and systems, said data was considered as gold in the current fourth industrial revolution and state agencies and organisations must protect the country’s data and systems from cyber attack.

To this end, the National Cyber Security Advisor entreated CEOs of state agencies and organisations to build the capacity of their staff on good cyber hygiene practices so as not to expose state data to hackers.

“CEOs of state enterprises and organisations must also take steps to protect their personal electronic data devices so as to protect sensitive and classified state information they are privy to from hackers,” he said.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako explained that the country was putting robust cyber security systems, policies and legislations in place to protect the country’s cyber space and from cyber attacks.

He hinted that the National Cyber Security Bill would be passed into law by the first quarter of next year, and said the passage of the bill into law would, among others, help transform the National Cyber Security Centre into an Authority, establish a national cyber security fund and give legal backing to the centre to prosecute people who engage in cyber crime.

The National Security Advisor commended the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his vice, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia for their commitment to promote the cyber security of the country.

“No wonder, participants during the ECOWAS ministerial meeting on cyber security under the National Cyber Security Awareness selected the President to champion cyber security issues in the sub-region,” Dr Antwi-Boasiako said.

Touching on the training, the National Security Advisor said it was to educate the CEOs on the need to robust systems in place to protect the data of their respective organisations and enhance their understanding of the progress on the country’s cyber security journey.

The Director General of the National Communications Authority, Joe Anokye took the CEOs through some essentials of cyber security and threat and the programmes and policies of the Authority to promote cyber security in the country.

The Director General of the State Interest and Governance Authority, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng said the training for the CEOs on cyber security was important given the role ICT was playing in the development agenda of the country.

He said henceforth, promoting cyber security would be one of the key performance indicators of the performance contract that would be signed with CEOs of state agencies and organisations.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng therefore entreated the CEOs of state organisations to include cyber security issues in their annual programmes and budget same to implement cyber security measures to protect the data of their respective organisations.

By Kingsley Asare

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