The Cybersecurity Authority last Monday engaged relevant service providers and professional stakeholders in the cybersecurity jurisdiction to discuss ideas and support the country’s quest to secure its digital transformation.
The workshop which happened at Alisa Hotel – Accra forms part of the Authority’s 2021 edition of the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, on the theme: “Ghana’s Cybersecurity Act, 2020; Its Implications and the Role of Stakeholders.”
It was meant to solicit suggestions and input from the experienced industry players towards effective implementation of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020.
It was as well an initiative to consolidate the relationship between the Authority and the industry towards achieving Ghana’s cybersecurity developmental goals.
Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, Acting Director-General of the Authority speaking at the workshop said some areas from which the Act drew strength from included provisions on the protection of critical information infrastructure, incident reporting and response, licensing and accreditation, recognition of the industry as a critical component of Ghana’s cybersecurity architecture and regulations on lawful access to data for law enforcement purposes.
“Whilst the Act may not address every single cybersecurity problem facing the industry in particular and the society as a whole, Act 1038 remains Africa’s best and among the best globally. Provisions on the protection of critical information infrastructure, provisions on incident reporting and response, provisions on licensing and accreditation, the recognition of industry as a critical component of Ghana’s cybersecurity architecture as well as regulations on lawful access to data for law enforcement purposes are some of the areas of which the Act draws its strength as a landmark legislation to support Ghana’s cybersecurity development.
“Cybersecurity regulations have the benefit of protecting our critical systems and our digital infrastructure. Provisions in the Act are to support systematic development of the cybersecurity sub-sector of the emerging digital economy. Cybersecurity regulations which Ghana has adopted through the passage of Act 1038 is to protect you as practitioners and the industry as a whole” he said.
He further made passionate appeal to Mrs. Ursula Owusu, Minister responsible for the country’s Digitization and Communication to consider yearly budgetary allocation to implement local cybersecurity initiatives through licensed service providers working in collaboration with other private sector actors.
“It is worth reiterating that, cybersecurity service providers and professionals have a critical role to play in ensuring that the provisions and regulations set in the Act are implemented as effectively as possible through collaborative efforts. To paraphrase the President, we should be active participants rather than spectators regarding the implementation of the Act. Indeed, many of you have reached out to us to offer support even without monetary expectations.
“Distinguished guests, Section 81 of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 establishes an Industry Forum which provides a platform that brings the industry together to discuss matters of interest. In order words, the Act makes provision for cybersecurity professionals to be active participants in our cybersecurity development activities. The Cyber Security Authority is committed to engage with industry through the Industry Forum to dialogue, discuss ideas and support Ghana’s quest to secure our digital transformation.”
He added, “Hon Minister, I stand here as an industry person to appeal to you to consider yearly budgetary allocation, once we implement the cybersecurity fund (Section 29), to implement local cybersecurity initiatives through proposals to be submitted by licensed cybersecurity service providers working in collaboration with other private sector actors. This initiative will further consolidate the relationship between the Authority and industry towards achieving Ghana’s cybersecurity developmental goals.”
Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, on her part expressed delight in the work done by the industry players in the cybersecurity department over the period to ensure Ghana’s high score in the digital journey.
“Let me begin, by commending all industry players gathered here, especially cybersecurity service providers and professionals, for taking active strides in ensuring a pristine cyber ecosystem even in the absence of a robust legal framework. Your efforts in this space have not gone unnoticed, and I would like to thank you all for the hard work thus far. Although your efforts have contributed immensely to efforts made to secure Ghana’s digital journey, there was the urgent need for Government to establish a robust legal framework to adequately cater for the protection of our cyberspace and to provide a clear regulatory regime for your activities.”
She further tasked the Authority to develop standards to certify cyber experts and practitioners in the country and also set standards for their operations.
The move she revealed is critical to ensure that the industry has no fraudsters pretending to be experts adding that, there is a lack of skilled jobs in the cybersecurity space which many can take advantage of.
“There are many indications today that demand for cybersecurity workers will continue to be high. All organisations need to understand is the threat on environment and the risks they face, address their cybersecurity problems, and hire the most appropriate people to do that work”.
She added, “In view of the anticipated need for cybersecurity workforce in the country, I have tasked the Cyber Security Authority to engage with you – the private sector actors to conduct research to establish Ghana’s cybersecurity workforce needs for the next five years. Findings from such research will support government policy on cybersecurity skills development and capacity building efforts in this critical sector of our digital economy”.