He warned that the fight against the menace should not be underestimated in any form, as its consequences were sometimes immeasurable.
Dr. Omane Boamah said this yesterday in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Director of Research, Statistics and Information Management at the Ministry of Communication, Patricia Dovi Sampson, at a stakeholders’ forum on cyber security issues in Ghana.
Earlier this year, the government portal, ghana.gov, which hosts about 58 websites for the ministries, department and agencies, was successfully attacked by a hacker known as Alsancak Tim, from Turkey. He was able to infiltrate 11 of the websites.
The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) said the sites were successfully hacked due to failure to update software. This development, therefore, triggered numerous debates about how to bolster online security in the country.
Cybercrime, the Minister said, was a borderless issue, and that the support of international partners was needed to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators.
He gave the assurance that his ministry would continue to engage international bodies such as the ITU, other development partners and neighbouring countries to mitigate the threats posed by cyber attacks and bring the perpetrators to book.
“We will also continue to work in line with regional directives and the Africa Union Convention on cyber security,” he declared.
“Also, by way of coordinating efforts to fight the canker of cyber criminality, the ministry will continue to work with the Ghana Police Service’s Anti-Fraud Unit, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) of the Attorney General’s Department, and the Financial Intelligence Centre for the financial sector to mitigate crime in general, and cybercrime in particular,” Dr. Omane Boamah added.
Continuing, he called on the media fraternity to help in the creation of awareness about cyber security issues among Ghanaians, saying it would go a long way to reduce its vulnerabilities and risks across all sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
In his comments via skype, Albert Atwi-Boasiako, Principal Consultant of E-Crime, said the awareness of employees of corporate organisations relative to e-crime was far below the minimum cyber security threshold, and most businesses and government organisations lagged behind in the implementation of proactive information security measures to detect and prevent e-crime.
He observed that business decision makers were not well informed about cyber security issues and the threat of cyber crimes to their businesses, stating that most of these businesses, including government institutions, lacked the ability to detect these attacks.
To arrest the challenges of cyber crimes in the country, Atwi-Boasiako proposed that a centralised reporting mechanism to collect information and intelligence on criminal actors in cyberspace and their modus operandi.