Ghana: Cybersecurity Awareness Cannot Be Compromised

6 September 2023

Ghana is said to have recorded GH¢49.5 million direct financial losses through cyber-fraud activities from January to June, this year,

According to the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), this figure constitutes just a fraction of cases reported to state agencies and that there is the possibility that the amount relating to unreported cases could exceed the one reported so far.

This cannot be disputed because many people blame themselves for letting down their guard and so forget reporting to embarrass themselves.

Since scientists are never at rest with the level of advancement of the world due to emerging problems, they keep bringing out new technologies and things that can solve such problems and meet current needs.

Unfortunately, some of the technologies turn out to have bad sides over time and consequently become the bane to progress and causes of some human suffering.

One of such technologies is cybernetics, which is the science of communications and automatic control systems in both machines and living things.

While this science has helped in creating cybersecurity, for instance, which is using the cyber technology to protect against the criminal or unauthorised use of electronic data, criminals have found ways and means to use it to commit crime.

To some of us, what is an issue is how the criminals are able to use the very technology thought to be foolproof to outwit others.

We can conjecture that even the experts can be confounded at times, yet they are the very people who can diagnose the problem and solve it.

Currently, we know there are laws that are used to prosecute perpetrators of cybercrime.

It is heart-warming to learn from the Groupe Special Mobile Association (GSMA) Mobile Connectivity Index (MCI) 2023 Report that Ghana is ranked fourth in Africa with a score of 51.4 per cent regarding its progress in connectivity over the past five years.

Besides, the report states that Ghana had a score of 86.69 per cent in Online Security (a key dimension of the index), which is consistent with the country's score on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI).

These are sweet things which should have reflected a high level of awareness of cyber issues, including cybersecurity, among the mass of Ghanaians.

However, this is not the case, which is why we have people suffering online fraud, including shopping fraud, romance fraud, online blackmail and identity fraud.

It is obvious that the way out is not only to intensify awareness of criminal activities in the country's cyberspace but also how to detect such fraudulent cyber activities before it can succeed.

Thank God that the country has not relented on its laurels since it started the National Cybersecurity Awareness in 2017 with the establishment of the National Cyber Security Week and it is now a whole month-long event, with October as the dedicated month.

We believe with the media launch of this year's awareness month done, the CSA has a pack of activities that will be rolled out at markets, workplaces, churches, mosques and schools, at least.

In future, the CSA should seek audience at festival durbars too and create awareness because some ordinary persons are being defrauded in the cyberspace more than anyone can imagine because they do not report their ordeal.

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