Cybercrime’s increasing rate requires urgent action

The increasing rate of cybercrime breaches in the country and globally is a matter to respond to with fervour, otherwise we stand a risk of undermining successes chalked up in digitising the economy.

Vice-President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia launched an awareness campaign in Accra this week, emphasising that awareness-creation as well as capacity building are important tools to stem the tide of cybercrime.

The National Cyber Security Centre, which is a body set up by government to coordinate cyber security matters, is to implement the awareness campaign – and this is expected to enhance cyber security culture so that the public, businesses, government and children alike can be protected from such scammers.

Under the theme ‘A safer digital Ghana’, the Vice-President underscored the importance of working toward the objective of improving cyber security so that the gains realised so far in the digitisation process are not derailed or adversely affected by cybercrime.

This is becoming increasingly important, since even the most advanced countries still battle with issues of cyber security; even in national elections, there is a perception that people with dubious intent have manipulated results to create confusion or undermine the democratic verdict.

The five-year campaign is expected to raise public awareness about cyber risks, since cyber-attacks have the propensity to change sensitive information, extort monies and interrupt business processes, or even misdirect financial transactions.

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Thus, without a conscious attempt to raise public awareness on cybercrime, all e-government initiatives stand a risk of being compromised – and that is something we can least-afford. It is now imperative for countries to adopt resilient cyber security defence strategies, since it is reported that cybercrime costs the world some US$608billion last year (2017).

Thankfully, Ghana is not being left behind – as the Ministry of Communications has drafted out a national Cyber Security Policy and Strategy to build a safe digital nation.

Cyber security firm Delta 3 International believes the incidence of cybercrime in Ghana will continue to rise unless businesses put effective counter-measures in place.

Internet connectivity has now made it much easier for criminals to act beyond national boundaries, and that requires all stakeholders’ efforts, including the private sector, governments, religious bodies and civil and social organisations, to fight it.

The campaign will help raise awareness, and effective steps can be developed to combat the rising incidence of cybercrime in our nation.

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