IT expert calls for tougher laws against cyber fraud

Managing Partner at Delta 3 International, an IT security firm, Dele Aden, has urged government to enact and enforce legislation that will make cyber-crime offences more punitive.

“If the criminals know that they can hack into systems and get away with it, then they will keep on doing it but if they know that there is a good chance of being caught and punished severely, it serves as a deterrent,” he said.

To back that, he said it is about time big organisations saw cyber related threats as a boardroom issue that demands managerial attention and not as a function of the IT department alone.

“One of the biggest cyber security issues is the lack of top-level involvement in fighting against the threats because management still sees it to be a function of the IT department.

But issues such as cyber security should be the concern of the whole organisation and not just as a business of the IT persons,” he told the B&FT at a Cyber Security Awareness Workshop in Accra.

“At a time that the Internet of Things (IoT) is hitting us in the face and cyber crimes keep surging, there is the need for organisations to increase staff awareness about cyber security, tighten their systems and process alongside technology.”

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According to the 2018 Malware Forecast released by Sophos, Africa will be in the news for cyber attacks more than ever before.

To guard against this threat, Mr. Aden urged increased information sharing among organisations and institutions as “even hackers share information among themselves to help carry out their activities”.

To him, even though there cannot be 100 percent security, having in place a comprehensive policy framework with adequate compliance, backed by the right infrastructure and regular risk assessment, will significantly reduce the harsh impact of cyber attacks.

To businesses, one cyber threat that they need to protect themselves from is the increasing rate of ransomware—a malicious software that allows a hacker to restrict access to vital information of a company or its workers until an agreed ransom is paid.

Even if only one user is affected, all users of the network are impacted because the files are rendered unusable.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) projects that ransomware attacks yielded more than US$1 billion in 2016.

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