Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communications, has said that the unavailability of the critical competencies to deal with cyber security issues is a primary cause of increased global challenges in the fight against cyber security.
She said a 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study – Benchmarking Workforce Capacity and Response to Cyber Risk conducted by Frost & Sullivan early this year, indicated that 66 percent of organizations identified the lack of skillset in addressing cyber threats as a major challenge.
The study, she said, further projected cyber security workforce shortage at 1.8 million by the year 2022.
A release issued to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday in Accra, said the Minister made this observation at the opening of the maiden Certificate Course in Cyber Security, jointly organized by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), and the e-Crime Bureau.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said despite the strides being made in ICT development in the country, the growing menace of cybercrime and other information security related challenges was gradually eroding these significant gains.
“Worryingly, as reflected in the Frost and Sullivan study, Ghanaian businesses and institutions are challenged when it comes to recruiting and retaining qualified cyber security professionals to man IT infrastructure as provisioned in the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843).”
She noted that, the short supply of cyber security skills in Ghana was particularly noticeable in the current curriculum of tertiary institutions.
“Few higher learning institutions run dedicated cyber security and forensics programmes, and we need to reverse this trend by encouraging educational institutions to offer practical cyber security courses to support government’s drive to step up Ghana’s cyber security readiness”.
She reiterated the importance of the programme which comes to support the eight pillars of Ghana’s National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy (NCSPS), which include developing and sustaining a Culture of Cyber Security & Capacity Building and Research & Development towards self-reliance.
The implementation of these pillars she observed requires collaboration with institutions like KAIPTC and e-Crime Bureau.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful noted that a Capacity Building and Awareness Division was being set up within Ghana’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), as part of her Ministry’s ongoing activities to ensure Ghana has effective and sustainable institutional structures in place to implement cyber security activities and initiatives.
The sector Minister commended KAIPTC and e-Crime Bureau for the initiative, as it marked the fruition of a MoU signed between the two institutions in 2016 to jointly deepen knowledge and develop capacity in the area of cyber security, intelligence and forensics.
About 65 participants are undergoing the week-long training course, which would focus on thematic areas such as cybercrimes and transnational crimes, cyber security governance and cyber defence & national security, as well as hands-on sessions to be conducted at the e-Crime Academy Cyber Lab.