Ghana’s significant strides in Information Communication Technology (ICT) development is under serious threat, due to the spate of cybercrime across various sectors of the economy, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of National Security, has said.
“Cyber security is adjudged to be among the top four threats to national security,” Mr Kan-Dapaah said this in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of a weeklong course on Cyber Intelligence and Forensics in Accra.
“It is no gain saying that cybercrime has become one of the greatest threats to global security,” the Minister said.
“Recent global crime trends including ransom are attacks, terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorist financing and human trafficking, which are usually facilitated through a digital medium are known to have devastating effects on states, corporate bodies and individuals,” he said.
The course is being organised by the E-Crime Bureau, a Cyber security and digital forensics firm, in collaboration with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre (KAIPTC).
The course, which is being attended by over 70 participants, seeks to equip participants with knowledge and hands-on skills, tools and techniques to conduct Cyber Intelligence and Forensics Operations.
The ultimate aim of the course is to address existing and emerging cyber security threats targeting businesses, institutions and states within the ECOWAS sub-region.
An aspect of the course explores security vulnerabilities of e-payment platforms as well as security and forensics response to mitigate the associated risks.
The course is also designed to equip participants with knowledge and hands-on skills, tools and techniques to conduct forensic investigations on cyber facilitated crimes.
Mr Kan-Dapaah said although it is heart-warming to note the existence of legal frameworks such as the Electronic Transaction Act, 2008 (Act 772) and the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843) aimed at regulation and adjudication, it is becoming increasingly challenging for many professionals to carry out comprehensive investigations and prosecute cybercrime offences.
“It is in this vein that I view this course on Cyber Intelligence and Forensics as a major step in our fight against cybercrime by further equipping our professionals in the various security services with adequate tools to enhance their trade craft and knowledge,” Mr Kan-Dapaah noted.
He said Government over the past few months has taken some effective approaches to address the challenges of cybercrime, through the introduction of the Digital Address System, the National Identification System and the Paperless System at the Country’s ports.
He said government was committed to improving the forensic capabilities of the law enforcement agencies notably the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service, and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to enable officers investigate and prosecute cyber-facilitated crimes.
He said: “This course on Cyber Intelligence and Forensics is therefore, deemed as one of the many approaches that will help develop the capacity of relevant professionals who will in turn transfer such knowledge to their colleagues at their various work places”.
Mr Daniel K. Mensah, Board Chairman, E-Crime Bureau, said the joint collaboration between E-Crime Bureau and KAIPTC was to support capacity building efforts to step up Ghana’s cyber security readiness in view of the current ICT development across all sectors.
“E-Crime Bureau’s collaboration with KAIPTC demonstrates our commitment to support all industries by providing the requisite skills needed to address the emerging cyber security and forensic challenges facing our country, and going forward the entire sub-region,” he added.
Mr Mensah said in August this year, E-Crime Bureau in collaboration with the KAIPTC jointly organised a programme in cyber security, which was attended by over 60 participants.
Air-Vice Marshal Griffiths S. Evans, the Commandant, KAIPTC, said the essence of the course was to deepen knowledge and to develop capacity in the area of cyber security and forensics.
“Given the threats of cyber security that we all know, the KAIPTC finds it quite necessary to collaborate with the E-Crime Bureau to develop programmes that will take care of this cyber insecurities”, he said.