The Minister for Public Enterprises, Hon. Joseph Cudjoe, has indicated that the increasing rate of cyberattacks on countries and critical infrastructure across the globe makes the mandate of the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) the most vital institution of the State, given the current direction to digitalise all sectors of the economy.
According to him, the CSA is clothed with the mandatory powers to support and safeguard the country from the risks that are associated with all digitalised economies.
The Minister said this on Friday, May 19, 2023, when he paid a working visit to the Management and Staff of CSA to interact with and learn firsthand, the operations of the Authority as part of his scheduled visits to 175 state-owned enterprises in the country. The Minister was accompanied by the Policy Advisor of the Ministry, Mr Sam Aning; Assistant Directors, Mr Richard Bosompem Ababio and Nanna Akua Sarpoma Nimako Boateng, and other members of Staff from the Ministry of Public Enterprises.
Commenting on the ongoing regulatory exercise of the CSA, the Minister pledged to work through the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) to ensure that after the September 30, 2023, only licensed and accredited Cybersecurity Service Providers and Professionals will be allowed to provide cybersecurity services for Public Sector institutions in the country. He noted that the country has a collective responsibility to ensure that Critical Information Infrastructures are protected from cyberattacks.
Hon. Cudjoe expressed his excitement about the level of collaboration the country was enjoying through the Memoranda of Understanding signed by the CSA with other African countries such as Rwanda and Mozambique. That, he said, placed the country on the continental radar, affirming that the move, was within the context of the larger African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) objective of promoting the development of the cybersecurity industry by bringing the countries on the African countries on a common platform.
As part of strategic planning efforts, the Minister charged all Government institutions as well as private sector institutions that performed critical roles for the state to develop cybersecurity policies, based on the Directive for the Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure Directive launched by the government in 2021, in conformity with Section 35 of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038).
Recognising the CSA’s role as a revenue-protecting agency as opposed to a revenue-generating agency, Hon. Joseph Cudjoe pledged the government’s commitment to ensure that the Authority is well-resourced to protect the interests of the state, given the critical nature of its mandate. He stressed that enhancing systems and building capacity of CSA staff must be a continuous process as the modus operandi of cybercriminals was constantly evolving.
Commending the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful for her visionary leadership which has manifested in the giant leaps taken by the Authority, Hon. Cudjoe emphasised the importance of operationalising the cybersecurity fund, as per Section 29 of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038), to surmount any form of impediments to achieving the Authority’s mandate.
The Director-General of the CSA, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, applauded the Minister for his in-depth knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity matters, stressing, that the mandate of the Authority as established by the Cyber Security Act 2020 is to be a revenue-protecting institution.
According to Dr. Antwi-Boasiako, the success of the Authority should be measured by the numerous interventions made to foil potential attacks on state institutions and its people. He added that the Cybersecurity/Cybercrime Incident Reporting Points of Contact (POC) which was launched in 2018, had become a major means of preventing many Ghanaians and businesses from becoming victims of cybercrime.
According to Dr. Antwi-Boasiako, any attempt to compare the achievements of CSA in monetary terms will be a deviation from its mandate. He added that as a specialised and evolving industry, the State stood to gain if it was able to motivate and retain committed and dedicated staff of the CSA.