ACCRA: GHANA’S National Information Technology Agency Computer Emergency Response Team (NITACERT) has been developed to a coordinating centre for cyber security attacks in the country. The strategy, which is expected to be launched later this month, is said to be the third in Africa after Uganda and Ivory Coast.
It is in line with the framework of the International Telecommunications Union-International Multilateral Partnership Against Cybercrime Threats (ITU-IMPACT) initiative. The Ministry of Communications entered into an agreement with ITU last year on the setting up of a national Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT).
When established, it is expected CIRT would strengthen Ghana’s ability to prevent and mitigate cybersecurity incidents in the country. “The strategy will provide Ghana with the necessary capacity and technical capabilities to build a national point of contact to respond in an effective manner to cybercrimes and cyberattacks,” Ghana’s Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Boamah explained to ItNewsGhana.com.
He added, “This strategy demonstrates the commitment of Ghana to unleash the full potential of ICT by ensuring security in cyberspace and building trust and confidence in the use of the Internet.” The Director Operations at NITA, Eric Akumiah, told CAJ News Ghana Bureau that NITA’s mission was to assist in the coordination and management of prevention, detection and resolution of security incidents that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other government institutions can be confronted with in the areas of computer and network security.
“Fighting cybercrime is a global thing. As we sit we don’t know the boundaries of Ghana in cyberspace, unlike the physical boundaries. Somebody can sit in his or her and launch an attack here. “So, the only way we can do is to secure our cyberspace.
What it is mean is that since cyber-attack can be done anywhere, people may be here launching attacks to other people elsewhere. So, the effort to curb it is an international one,” Akumiah said. Recently, senior managers with Information and Communication Technology staff of Ministries and Security Agencies had been schooled on the new security incidence response system to mitigate cyber security risks from internal and external sources.
The Chairman of NITA, Dr Nii Quaynor, said as part of the strategy, a similar capacity building event would be started in July for staff of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). He said NITA would set up NITACERTs in all MMDAs to coordinate all incidents and share intelligence on new threats and publish incidence reports on its websites monthly.
He explained that although cyber security possibly could not absolutely be eliminated, risks of attack could be mitigated to an acceptable level. “If the constituents of the networks on which they receive service are aware of the possible attacks and there are structures for reporting of incidences on the network it would help greatly,” he said.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY