Ghana: Don't Allow Cyber Attacks ... Says Siga As It Pushes Entities to Alert

15 October 2021

Promotion and prioritisation of cyber security issues will be one of the performance indicators for assessing Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), the Director-General of the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has said.

To this end, he has charged CEOs of SOEs to put measures and structures in place to protect their organisations from cyber attacks.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng disclosed this in Accra yesterday during a workshop on the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) for CEOs of SOEs, said the allowances of CEOs would be tied to how they were able to implement cyber security measures to protect their organisation and the information they hold.

The programme which formed part of the 2021 Cybersecurity Awareness Month, was to educate the CEO of the SOEs of the provisions in the new act and seek their input for implementation.

The Director-General of SIGA said SOEs could be prone and susceptible to cyber-attacks since most of them relied on social media and internet to deliver their services.

"We are all aware that the advent of the digital age, which is expected to create great value for industry, also comes with a lot of baggage due to the exposure to the internet and its related cyber security threats and dangers," he said.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng said it was in that direction that the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with the advice of the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation taught it wise to establish the Cyber Security Authority through the enactment of the Cyber Security Act, 2020 (Act 1038).

He said cyber security exposures and vulnerabilities could be the unmaking of business organisations, saying organisations such as FedEx and Maersk in 2017 lost about $10 billion in 2017 due to cyber-attackon their systems and operations, said it was therefore, important for head of SOEs to systems in place to prevent their organisations from cyber attacks.

He pledged that SIGA would collaborate with the CSA to educate SOEs on good cyber security practices.

The Acting Director-General of Cyber Security Authority, Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako said the new cyber security law had been promulgated to provide regulatory framework for the cyber security industry.

He said the law, among others, mandated the country to establish a Cyber Security Authority to oversee cyber security issues in the country.

The Acting Director-General also indicated that the new law had designated cyber security installations as critical information infrastructure.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako stressed that CEOs must appreciate and understand the potential impact of cyber attacks on organisations.

"The responsibility of protecting our data and CII rest with Managing Directors and CEOs of state institutions," he said, and it was in that direction the workshop was organised for them.

He said cyber attacks were bound to happen and what was important was for organisations to put in place measures to protect their organisations.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako entreated SOEs to practice hygienic cyber security practices and avoid acts which could expose their organisations to cyber attacks.

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