TELCOS CALL FOR STERN ANTI-CYBERCRIME POLICIES; GHANA LOST $100M LAST YEAR

BY AFIA NYARKO ASARE
Stakeholders in the Telecom Industry are pushing for the regulator to deepen cybersecurity policy discussions as part of moves to scale up successful digital payment solutions.
It is estimated that Ghana lost 97 million dollars to cybercrime in 2018 alone and an information security expert Del Aden also revealed that Ghanaian businesses stand to lose 100 million dollars from cyber-crime if pragmatic measures are not put in place to minimize it.
According to the Managing Partner of the cybersecurity firm, Delta 3 International, Del Aden, the incident of cybercrime in Ghana will continue to rise unless businesses put effective countermeasures in place.
He added that with increased digitization, the risks related to cybersecurity naturally increases.
“Unfortunately, organizations in Ghana are not immune to these risks, as such business leaders must take active steps to improve their organization’s readiness for these kinds of threats,” he said.
A report released by Kenyan-based IT firm, Serianu Limited, revealed that Ghana’s economy lost a total of US$50 million to cyber-crime in 2016.
Speaking to Citi FM News on the sidelines of the 4th edition of the Ghana Cyber Security Workshop, Mr. Aden reiterated that government must get involved to direct the fight against cybercrime.
“Businesses in Ghana stand to lose nearly 100 million dollars to cybercrime. That’s why everyone needs to sit up and implement effective measures of counter cybercrime,” he warned.
He observed that public institutions, as well as financial institutions in the country, are at a high risk of being attacked.
“Organizations that are normally attacked, like financial and public institutions, normally experience system disruptions and loss of money. Companies then spend a lot of man-hours in trying to recover lost information and also restore affected systems,” he said.
“If you have one company spending a few thousand and others spending similar amounts in reaction to cyber-attacks, you’ll eventually realize that companies can lose millions in 2018,” he added.
The 4th edition of the Ghana Cyber Security Awareness Workshop was organized by Delta 3 International, a UK listed expert in I.T Solutions Architecture, Cyber Security, and Risk Mitigation.
The company focuses mainly on working with governments and businesses in Europe and Africa to protect their brand and value against the ever-evolving threat of cybercrime.
The company’s workshop was used to raise awareness about the need for corporate Ghana to take the subject of employee training on cybersecurity seriously.
The occasion was used to address the broader issue of Cybercrime in Digital Africa, as well as specific issues like Social Engineering, Ransomware, Identity Theft, Phishing among others.
Therefore the move by stakeholders in the telecommunication industry to advocate for policy makers to strengthen measures avert cybercrime, protect the interest of its customers and promote stability.
General Manager for MTN MOMO, Eli Hene thus called on the regulator to increase talks on cybersecurity to provide stability in the sector.
“To deepen the discussions around cybersecurity policy, it has become very important now; the government has been talking about it.
As we go digital, it’s an area that we need to put our minds to and invest to ensure that across all industries that get departed there is sufficient understanding, sufficient investment and we can ensure some standardization so that we do not have different standards applied to different procedures,” he explained.

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