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We are working on a cyber security law – Ursula

The Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has announced that government was working on a cyber security law.
According to her, an assessment conducted by the World Bank and the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre of the Oxford University on Ghana’s cyber security maturity level have shown that “we have a long way to go.”

Addressing the Meet the Press series in Accra on Thursday morning when the Communication Ministry took its turn, the Minister said the digitization efforts and the introduction of a number of e-services in Ghana have exposed the country and people to possible cyber attacks and vulnerabilities.

To help counter these potential threats certain deliberate measures have been instituted by the Ministry including the establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre to coordinate cyber security activities both in government and the private sector, the Minister said.”

Mr Owusu-Ekuful said the centre is responsible for national cyber security awareness creation and cyber security incident coordination.

She said in view of the escalating cyber-attacks targeting the financial sector, the Bank of Ghana working in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and the Association of Bankers launched a Cyber and Information Security Directive for the Financial Industry to support cyber risk management in the financial sector.

In addition to that, she said government has acceded to two important treaties on cyber security – The African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection (Malabo Convention) and The Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention).

These two international treaties are expected to enhance Ghana’s cooperation with other countries at the policy, technical and operational levels in dealing with cybercrime and cyber security challenges.

Adding, she said the ministry was currently reviewing the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy for Cabinet’s consideration and adoption early next year.

“As indicated in the 2019 Budget, the government will set up a National Cyber Security Authority (NCSA) to oversee Ghana’s cyber security especially the protection of Critical National Information Infrastructures (CNIIs) in line with global trends and best practices. A Cyber Security Law is in the offing.”

She said in view cyber security breaches suffered by some MDAs including the Data Protection Commission (DPC), the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and the Ministry of Finance, the Cyber Security Secretariat developed advisories to help MDAs improve their cyber security environment.
NITA is currently working with the World Bank to deploy a secured network across government institutions and this is expected to help improve the general cyber security situation in the public sector.

“…we have been busy and will continue working to help the public and private sector scale up the uptake of technology at all levels to help this country leapfrog development.

“The formalization of our economy is going on apace through the use of technology and we will continue to utilize it to help with revenue generation, collection and accountability.”

The Minister said there is an indelible link between ICT and economic development and President, Nana Akufo-Addo, being keenly aware of this, has directed the Economic Management Team led by Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, to explore its full potential.

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