Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications.jpg22403
Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications.jpg22403

Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications explained that the project is to increase public- private- partnership in improving the nation’s cyber security.

Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications.jpg22403
Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications.jpg22403

He said the GCIXP is modelled around the United Kingdom Warning, Alerts and Reporting Point (WARP) and would be setup and jointly-owned by private and public sectors.

He said the GCIXP would have a number of Early Warning Alerts Reporting Points (EWARP), where different community in cyber security and cybercrime would be collocated.

He explained that any community in the cyber security ecosystem and initiate EWARPs on the platform of the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-GH) would be responsible for provisioning of EWARPs.

Dr Omane Boamah made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf in Accra at a day’s workshop on cyber security and incidents handling.

The workshop was to help participants to better understand the need for collaboration and cooperation in incidents handling and overcome current cyber security challenges in Ghana and in the process better align ourselves to help meet the national needs on cyber security.

He noted that an incident handling and cybercrime EWARPS have been set-up for a start.

“Once the communities agree, a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Critical National Information Infrastructure ERWARP will also be set-up.

“We do hope that the GCIXP will go a long way to improve cyber security,” Dr Omane Boamah stated.

He said the CERT-GH is planning to organise a comprehensive training workshop on incidents handling and how to set-up one’s CERT in collaboration with other international partners later this year.

The Minister said cyber security incidences are on the increase in volumes and complexity, and therefore, requires a multi-stake holder approach to address it.

He said according to the Price Water Coopers annual report for 2015, cyber security incident increased by 38 per cent from the 2014 rate; stating that the theft of hard intellectual property also increased by 58 per cent from the 2014 figures.

According to the 2015 Dell Security Annual Threat Report, SCADA attacks are on the rise; the report found that in 2014, the number of attacks on SCADA systems doubled compared to the previous year.

He said Ghana needs to take a cue from the SCADA attacks in the United States, Finland and the United Kingdom, as the nation works towards improving its SCADA systems of the utilities.

On online child abuse, the Minister said the statistics is staggering, quoting a research by GuardChild, a child centred NGO, about 90 per cent of children ages from eight to 16 had seen online pornography.

The report claims that law enforcement officials estimate that more than 50,000 sexual predators are online any given moment.

The Minister cautioned that the evidence of cyber-attacks is not going away soon; and that evident from the PWC 2015 report indicates that businesses are investing more into safeguards to better defend their ecosystem from emerging threats.

Mr Eric Akumiah, the Director of Operations, National Information Technology Agency (NITA), said with the growing volume and sophistication of cyber-attacks, ongoing attention is required to protect sensitive business and personal information, as well as safeguard national security.

Mr Solomon Richardson, the Infrastructure Head, NITA, recounted that some years ago, the number of cyber-attacks in the country was used to be high, however, following the establishment of the domain name system (DNS) registry, it had declined.

He urged stakeholders to be proactive in educating Ghanaians on cyber security.

Mr Roger Baah, IBM Ghana Network Services Specialist, said security was very important to all the industries in Ghana; especially the Banking Industry.

Mr Ben Eshun, the Executive Secretary, Ghanaian Academic and Research Network said information sharing is key to the maintenance of cyber security.

By Iddi Yire, GNA

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