Cyber Security Authority to begin operations in Q2

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to speak at maiden Africa Technovate Awards
Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is assiduously working to transform itself into an authority by the end of the second quarter of this year after the passage of the cybersecurity bill late last year. The move has become critical with the rapid adaptation to the digital platforms for the execution of various schemes.

The authority, according to the National Cybersecurity Advisor, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako is being fashioned to execute its mandate in a manner that would not only protect the nation’s cyberspace but also accelerate sustainable economic growth.

The authority, per the act that established it, has been tasked to regulate cybersecurity activities in the country; prevent, manage and respond to cybersecurity threats and cybersecurity incidents; regulate owners of critical information infrastructure in respect of cybersecurity activities, cybersecurity service providers and practitioners in the country; and promote the development of cybersecurity in the country to ensure a secured and resilient digital ecosystem.

It has been mandated to establish a platform for cross-sector engagement on matters of cybersecurity for effective co-ordination and co-operation between key public institutions and the private sector; create awareness of cybersecurity matters; and collaborate with international agencies to promote the cybersecurity of the country.

The Minister designate for Communication and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, during her vetting intimated that the act will see to the setting up the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-GH) which would oversee sector-specific response teams in connection with computer security matters.

“Already, the National Communication Authority (NCA) has a centre overseeing the telecommunication sector, the Bank of Ghana, in collaboration with the Cyber Security Center, has also set up another one for the financial sector. The National Information Technology Agency (NITA) has one that is overseeing the e-governance network. The security, utility and transportation sectors also need one.

All these computer emergency centres receive incidents and act on them under the direction of the National Emergency Response Team. We are setting up an architecture to protect the cyberspace.  The act mandates the authority to work with the various sectors to have a Computer Emergency Response Center. We are in the process of setting up those structures. When the authority is put in place, it would coordinate and ensure the robust defence of our critical national information infrastructure,” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said.

The functions assigned to the authority also include to advise the government and public institutions on all matters related to cybersecurity in the country; promote the security of computers and computer systems in the country; monitor cybersecurity threats within and outside the country; establish codes of practice and standards for cybersecurity, and monitor compliance with the codes of practice. and standards by the public and private-sector owners of critical information infrastructure.

Some other major functions  of the authority are to establish standards for certifying cybersecurity products or services; certify cybersecurity products or services in accordance with the standards established pursuant to paragraph; take measures in response to cybersecurity incidents that occur within and outside the country which may threaten national security, the defence of the country, the economy,  international relations, health of the public, safety of life and property and any other sector of the country.

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