Cybercrime and Cyber Security Incident Reporting Points of Contact launched

Cybercrime and Cyber Security Incident Reporting Points of Contact (CSIRPC) has been launched in Accra.

This is to provide an effective mechanism for citizens to report suspected and identified cybercrime and cyber security happenings in the country.

The event organised by the Communication Ministry in collaboration with the National Cyber Security Centre was also used to launch the national cyber security awareness month this year.

It was held under the theme “Demonstrating Ghana’s cybersecurity readiness.”

Speaking at the launch yesterday, the Minister of Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said, the CSIRPC would improve the collection of statistics on cyber crimes and security incidents in the country.

According to her, lack of credible statistics on cyber crimes was a major concern affecting our ability to critically analyse cyber security issues affecting digital economy to inform relevant interventions.

“With this initiative, government will be able to produce relevant statistics in a timely manner to support our strategic planning as well as our investment in cyber security,” the minister noted.

In addition, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful stated that, it would also assist the security and law enforcement agencies with evidence-based analysis of criminal issues and impact analysis of cybercrime on the wider criminal justice system.

“The multi platform approach was carefully adopted to provide multiple channels through which incidents can be reported to the national cyber security centre,” she said.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful added that, emails targeted at corporate and government centres, whatsapp for the youth, a mobile application, SMS and voice calls targeting children, businesses, children and individuals and citizens without access to the internet which were all toll free.

Mr Kwasi Adu-Gyan, Director General, Ghana-Indian Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in Information Communication and Technology said, further estimate indicated that the country had lost USD97 million in August this year to cybercrime.

According to him, the financial loss brought by cybercrime in the country exceeded USD69 million in 2017, adding that, “Ghana reportedly lost USD105 million last year through various forms of cybercrime.

Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako, National Cybersecurity Advisor indicated that, Cybercrimes were increasing at an alarming rate both regionally and globally.

He stated that, according to the 2019 World Economic Forum Report, four new malware samples are created every second with phishing remaining one of the most successful forms of attacks.

“Unfortunately, only about 17 per cent phishing victims report these attacks. We must ensure that we have channels that allow for effective reporting, so that cybercrimes can be dealt with quickly, to abate its effects on individuals and businesses,” Dr Antwi-Boasiako added.

Activities to mark the launch of the awareness month include workshops for regional cybercrime sensitisation, cybercrime and electronic evidence for criminal justice officials, government chief executive officers, child online protection and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) inter-ministerial roundtable discussion workshops across the 16 regions.

BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH

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