MPs Review Draft Documents On Cyber Security

Ursula Owusu- Ekuful addressing participants while members of the committee look on

The Parliamentary Select Committee on
Communication together with officials of the Ministry of Communications have converged
at a three-day retreat over the weekend to review drafts of policies and
legislative documents that seek to regulate and provide direction on cyber
related activities of the country.

The documents which were put together by
the National Cyber Security Centre, an agency of the Ministry of Communication,
included the Cyber security Bill, Interception Bill and the revised National Cyber
security Policy and Strategy.

The Bills are expected to among other
things address the current challenges of law enforcement and security agencies,
regulate the cyber security industry, set up cyber security authority, address
child online issues, protection of critical information structure and also
provide mechanism for international cooperation.

On the other hand, the draft policy
documents are expected to address current cyber-security and cyber-crime trends
as well as reflect the status of the country as the third on the African
continent to ratify the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime and the Malabo
Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection.

 Also
present at the retreat were members of Legislative Drafting Division of the
Office of the Attorney General’s Department who joined other participants to
undergo a capacity building programme on cyber security.

Speaking to participants at the programme,
the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful indicated that the activities
of over 10 million Ghanaians who are connected to the internet expose the
country’s cyber systems to various vulnerabilities and threats.

She mentioned these vulnerabilities to
include use of public emails by government officials, visiting of unfamiliar emails
which pose threats of scamming and phishing, sharing of sensitive information
on social media that may lead to page cloning and scamming, and connecting to
unprotected public Wi-Fi.

She attributed the persisting challenges to
the lack of awareness among citizens which can be addressed through mass
sensitization.

“Inculcating essential cyber hygiene
practices in the citizens will address certain habits that lead to
cyber-attacks” she said.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful also called for a
sustainable budget to fund cyber security activities, more collaboration
between state and non-state actors and a comprehensive cyber security law
capable of addressing the current complexities of cybercrime and cyber security.

“This explains why the Ministry of
Communications, working with the members of the National Cyber Security
Inter-Ministerial Advisory Council (NCSIAC) and other stakeholders are
introducing a Cyber security Bill” she said.

A Cyber security Maturity Assessment commissioned
by the Ministry and undertaken by the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre of
the Oxford University showed that Ghana’s cyber security was at its formative
stages, emphasising the need to build upon current achievements.

The Chairman of Parliament’s Select Committee on Communications, Ken
Agyapong in that regard said Ghana was not safe when it comes to cyber security.

“Whether we liked it or not cyber insecurity has become a thorn in our flesh and therefore it’s important that we deal with it once and for all,” he said.

By Issah Mohammed



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