About 1,400 register for cyber-security licences


By Mohammed AWAL ([email protected])

About 1,400 individuals and businesses in the country have applied for licences and accreditation from the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) since the implementation of the cyber-security regulatory regime began in March 2023, the authority has said.

It had, as of February 19, 2024, registered 1,137 cyber-security professionals (CPS), 194 cyber-security service providers (CSPS), and 52 cyber-security establishments (CES), totalling 1,383.

“While some institutions and individuals have been issued provisional licences pending the issuance of a final licence, many others are at various stages of the licensing and accreditation process,” the CSA stated in a statement shared with the B&FT yesterday.

The government, last month, barred Cybersecurity Service Providers, Cybersecurity Establishments and Cybersecurity Professionals without a licence or accreditation from operating in the country.

The ban follows the December 31, 2023 deadline issued by the CSA to CSPs, CEs and CPs to obtain a licence or accreditation to operate lawfully in the country.

The CSA said it is fully committed to enforcing the provisions of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) regarding its mandate to regulate CSPs, CEs and CPs.

“Thus, CSPs, CEs and CPs who are offering cyber-security services without a licence or accreditation granted by the authority do so in contravention of Act 1038 and will face the full rigours of the law, including administrative penalties and criminal prosecutions pursuant to sections 49, 92 and 95 of the Act,” the statement warned.

Licensing/accreditation clinic

While audit and enforcement mechanisms remain in place, the CSA stressed that it also committed to developing the cyber-security industry to ensure a secured and resilient digital ecosystem pursuant to section 3(d) of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038).

Hence, a licensing and accreditation clinic has been set up at the CSA premises, located on the 3rd floor of the NCA Tower in Airport City, Accra. This clinic, operational since February 8, 2024, aims to aid qualifying Cybersecurity Service Providers (CSPs), Cybersecurity Establishments (CEs), and Cybersecurity Professionals (CPs) facing challenges in completing the online application process for licences or accreditation.

“Every Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. has been earmarked for the process up until the end of the first quarter of 2024,” the statement said.

Collaborations and compliance

Meanwhile, the CSA and the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) are collaborating to ensure that public sector institutions seeking cyber-security services follow the rules established under Act 1038, with covered entities expected to engage only licensed and accredited CSPs, CEs and CPs.

Additionally, the CSA is liaising with the Judicial Service of Ghana to ensure that the provisions in the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) are enforced to the letter. This collaboration is to guarantee that CSPs, CEs and CPs who testify in all matters before the courts are licensed and/or accredited under Act 1038.

“All businesses and individuals who seek to engage CSPs, CEs and CPs are further advised to ascertain whether an entity or individual has been granted a licence or accreditation. The certificate number of the entity or individual can be authenticated online at https://www.csa.gov.gh/licence,” the authority’s statement noted.

It added: “These actions are aimed to guarantee regulatory compliance with the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) and to streamline the process of providing services in accordance with approved standards and processes that are consistent with domestic laws and international best practices and, more especially, to ensure that the digital space is safe”.

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