The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has cautioned its members against the growing threat of cybercrime.
According to AGI, members could lose their businesses if secure measures are not put in place to protect against cybercrime.
A report released by Kenyan-based IT firm, Serianu Limited, revealed that Ghana’s economy lost a total of US$50 million to cybercrime in 2016.
Ghanaian companies are, however, expected to lose about 100 million dollars from cybercrime this year if measures are not put in place to minimize it.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the ICT Sector Chair of the AGI, Nana Beecham said the AGI would lose, if its members fail to protect themselves from cybercrime.
“So every member needs to take personal responsibility. This is not something that AGI can do for them. Within the AGI secretariat we’re going to make sure that we’re secure. But members need to take steps to ensure they are protected from such risks.”
Highlighting the possible impact of an attack on the AGI and its members, Mrs. Beecham stated that cybercrime can cause serious distortion to the operations of an individual.
“If a member is attacked it affects the entire association. For the businesses, most of them are operating on loans, so if they are attacked they could lose everything, their business could collapse forever.”
Mrs. Beecham was speaking after a Cybercrime workshop organized by the ICT Sector of the AGI, in collaboration with the Cyber Security firm e-Crime Bureau.
Meanwhile, Ghanaian businesses have been cautioned against the increasing cases of insider fraud in the country.
According to a recent report by IBM, the majority of online security-related attacks are initiated by “insiders,” such as employees, business partners, or third party contractors.
Insider fraud which is perpetrated by known persons with access to an organization’s data, is expected to contribute to Ghana losing about 100 million dollars from cybercrime this year.
Speaking to Citi Business News on the matter at the same workshop, the principal consultant at Cyber Security firm e-Crime Bureau, Alex Oppong, called for a culture of comprehensive checks on employees.
“Cyber criminals are now becoming very organized groups. They are constantly trying to find new ways on how to exploit companies with certain vulnerabilities across the country. One of the ways cyber criminals are strongly considering is the idea of employing within. If they are able to get some type of application installed within the organization it enables them to gain access to monies, information and more.”
Mr. Oppong went on to caution companies about not giving priority to background checks on possible employees.
“For me I think companies should be more aware of the people they are taking on, and by that extensive and comprehensive background checks. Companies need to make sure they are not caught with their pants down.”
e-Crime Bureau also used the workshop to discuss the growing and varied cases of cybercrime, including email fraud, cheque fraud, mobile money fraud, phishing attacks, remittance fraud, insider fraud among others, and how companies can protect themselves from it.