InfoSec Advisory with Del Aden … Rebooting Ghana together: The role of technology & cybersecurity

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Del Aden

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts are still evolving and the future is still uncertain.  The various African Government Roadmaps for reopening set out how the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted on a phased basis.

As the nation readies itself to get back to some form of normality, all indications are that ‘new normal’ is here to stay for at least one year. As such, the first step in rebooting Ghana is to Embrace the ‘new normal’.

But what will be ‘new normal’ that emerges in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis look like?  How should CEOs and Boards plan and prepare for the post COVID-19 world and new normal? How can your organisations adapt culturally and technologically to prepare for the future? Above all, what will be the role of technology & Cybersecurity in rebooting Ghana?

Embracing the ‘new normal’ in your workplace….

Social Distancing is the ‘new normal’ –  Make no mistake: the impacts of COVID-19 have changed how we work. These changes extend to how individuals commute, enter workplaces, interact with others, manage tasks…and more.  As we define our ‘new normal’ in a COVID-19 world, workplace health and safety and the importance of strong safety leadership are more critical than ever before.

The role of Technology & Cybersecurity in Rebooting Ghana…

One positive aspect of the pandemic is that it will accelerate the development of technologies that help the fight against it. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) and smart home healthcare services should benefit in the long term.  As a result, evolutions and innovations are already taking place in the broader tech industry in response to both the lockdown and subsequent reopening of the country.

However, organisations could gain competitive advantage by adopting emerging automation technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) vision systems.

Increased adoption of 3D-printing –  In the world beyond this crisis, the COVID-19 experience could accelerate the transition to approaches such as additive manufacturing (3D-printing); which has the potential to deliver significant advantages in speed, cost, precision and materials. This, in turn, might enable new business models and reshape present business models – not just in manufacturing but also associated sectors, such as logistics.

Technology reshaping the world of work

As I’ve always said on the regular Delta3 Monthly Webinars, it is my belief that COVID-19 will spur rapid technology adoption – potentially changing the world of work. We have already observed that fear of contagion is leading many to abandon cash in favour of digital payments. Social distancing is prompting organisations to embrace video conferencing, virtual classrooms and telemedicine on an unprecedented scale.

As the crisis continues, it could accelerate development of next-gen remote working technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality. Since these technologies will generate efficiency gains, organisations may retain them beyond the crisis. This process will reshape entire industries and reframe the nature of work and learning.

Consequently, organisations may rethink their real estate strategy and footprint; new collaboration and teamwork models could emerge, and remote learning could redefine education.

Emerging technologies fighting COVID-19

New technologies and innovations often find their footing during times of crisis. The current crop of emerging technologies is no different; they are being put to the test in fighting COVID-19. Surveillance technologies including facial recognition and mobile data are being deployed to track those infected and identify those that came into contact with them.

Researchers are employing AI and synthetic biology in drug and vaccine R&D. 3D printers are printing parts for ventilators, hands-free door openers and more.

The minimisation of human-to-human interactions in preventing exposure to the virus is paving the way for automation. Robots are disinfecting rooms, communicating with the quarantined and delivering medications. Drones are patrolling public areas to conduct thermal imaging, spray disinfectant and ensure compliance with social distancing directives.

In Africa, specific examples of great technological inventions that are been used to fight Covid-19 include:

  1. Pan African BioSurveillance App – Developed by the Ghana Ministry of Communications and its partners. At a press briefing to launch the new App, the Communications Minister (Mrs. Ursula Owusu) said the new app will help monitor and regulate the number of people attending an event at any given time and place; thus helping to monitor compliance with the presidential directives as churches are given the green light to re-open.
  2. The Auto-Disinfectant Booth – Developed by partners of Delta3 International, this invention will help to disinfect all members of staff and visitors entering your premises by spraying them with sanitisers from head to toe within 3 seconds, thus helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring compliance with the new protocols.
  3. Anti-epidemic robots – Rwanda has enlisted the use anti-epidemic robots in its fight against coronavirus. According to Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation, the robots (named Akazuba, Ikirezi, Mwiza, Ngabo, and Urumuri) will be used for mass temperature screening, monitoring patient status, and keeping medical records of COVID-19 patients!
Anti-Epidemic Robots
Auto-Disinfectant Booth

Technology and Training in the ‘new normal’

According to Training and Development experts, this is the best time to train your employees. Organisations that innovate to train their employees will come out stronger after the pandemic and recover/prosper quicker.

In terms of delivery method, Online Training is now the ‘new normal’…Look out for instructor-led online courses that your team can attend

So, what skills will we need to fit into this Brave New World? 

Well, it is no longer the case of undertaking training just for the fun of it!  Nowadays, employers are thinking more of technology training courses that will equip their team for now and beyond. Examples of such courses currently run in Africa by Delta3 International include: Innovation, Cloud, Digital Transformation, Cyber Security and Tools for Remote Working.

Technology and Cyber Security in the New Normal

When it comes to Cybersecurity, Individuals and Businesses must realise their guard was down and security lax at the height of COVID-19. According to the FBI, instances of cybercrime appear to have jumped by as much as 300 percent since beginning of the pandemic.

Hackers are like vultures – they are patient birds and will strike unless your security is good. Consequently, there is an urgent need for organisations to engage the services of independent cyber security experts (a ‘fresh pair of eyes’) to undertake a full and complete Audit of your systems, and also to perform Vulnerability Assessments of all your Business applications in the cloud and on-prem. In this regard, Delta3 International is here to help through our complementary Covid-19 Assist programme

Preparing for the post-pandemic generation

For the generation coming up behind Gen Z, the post-pandemic ‘new normal’ will just be normal. The impact of this generational shift will likely be profound.

Generational cohorts are defined by societal changes during their formative years. As such, the children who never knew the world as it existed before the global pandemic will take for granted the transformations following in its wake — so the shifts described in this paper will apply to them in spades.

Think of the business transformations — corporate purpose, sustainability, ways of working, use of digital, new business models — sparked by the emergence of Millennials and Gen Z. The next such transformation is on the horizon. The companies that make sense of the post-pandemic generation fastest will enjoy a competitive advantage in areas such as recruiting, productivity, innovation and customer relations.

In conclusion, we urge you to:

  • Find the right balance between efficiency and effectiveness
  • Innovate meaningfully
  • Refocus on brand purpose and review your consumer journey
  • Recognise that many of marketing’s laws still apply – some even more so now
  • Look after your team, your customers and your suppliers
  • Make Digital Transformation and Information Security your watchwords

Finally, we are here to help; as such, organisations needing help should contact us for a complementary Advisory service through the Delta3 Covid-19 Assist programme.

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Del Aden is the Managing Partner, Delta3 International. As an Enterprise Architect and Information Security Consultant, Del Aden is an industry-recognised security expert with over 20 years of hands-on experience in consulting, training, public speaking, and expert witness testimony. As the Managing Partner for Delta3 International, Del now focuses on helping customers prevent security breaches, detect network intrusions, and respond to advanced threats. An astute speaker and trainer, Del is on the cutting-edge of cybersecurity research and development. For comments, contact author: [email protected]  Mobile: +233 202621350 (GH) or +44 7973 623 624 (UK). Website: www.delta3.co    Contact us: [email protected]

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