The Minister of Communication, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has stated that Ghana cannot continue to rely on external consultants and development partners in the area of cybersecurity even though their work over the years is appreciated.
According to her, it is time Ghana gives opportunity to it young ones to be trained and become professionals in the digital space to be able to handle the country’s cybersecurity rather than always depending on external help.
The minister made this assertion during a day’s forum organized by the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation under the auspices of the Cyber Security Authority which brought together professionals and service providers to brainstorm how the country can manage the digital space without any hindrance.
The forum was geared towards Ghana being able to streamline the sector and also need to stand on it own taking into consideration all the required knowledge and skill for job creation, assist and manage the digital space.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said Ghana should make a conscious effort to engage the young graduates to consider careers in cyber security which is not exploited enough.
“We need to encourage our young people to take studies in courses like data analysts, it is an already market and one will never lack sustainable well-paying jobs because both the public and private sectors of the economy need their services,” she stated.
She said 2021 ISACA report on the State of Cybersecurity shows that 61% of cybersecurity teams are understaffed while cybercrime is still a persisting problem.
In a 2020 publication on the cost of cybercrime, Cybersecurity Ventures reported that, the cost of cybercrime is estimated to reach $6 trillion worldwide by the end of the year.
This report and similar ones bring to light, the urgent need to have adequate numbers of well trained and competent cybersecurity professionals. Interestingly, the New York Times, has reported an estimated 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs will be available but unfilled by the end of 2021.
The minister said the forum would afford industry players the opportunity to adopt standardization for cybersecurity products and solutions because Section 59, of the Act, provides that the Cyber Security Authority develops, establishes, and adopts standards necessary for the overall development of cybersecurity in the country.
This section, she said further enjoins the Authority to enforce the adopted cybersecurity standards and monitor compliance of public and private entities to ensure that there is a minimum standard by which all cybersecurity activities are to conform to, to prevent the introduction and use untested solutions which will in turn strengthen our cybersecurity resilience across all sectors.
“I believe this platform would periodically bring stakeholders from the industry together to discuss matters of common interest to the industry. It is the expectation of the Ministry that the industry forum would help devise strategies, initiatives, and ideas that would help formulate policies and frameworks to support the country’s cybersecurity development.”
Giving his welcoming address, the Acting Director General of Cyber Security Authority, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiko, appeals to the minister to consider yearly budgetary allocation to implement local cybersecurity initiatives through proposals to be submitted by licensed cybersecurity service providers working in collaboration with other private sector actors.
This initiative, he Dr. Antwi-Bosiako said will further consolidate the relationship between the Authority and industry towards achieving Ghana’s cybersecurity developmental goals.
“It is my expectation that, our engagement today will provide ideas, suggestions and inputs to support the Authority on its mandate to implement the Act,” he stated.