Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communication and Digitalization, has stressed on the need for Cybersecurity professionals to help champion Ghana’s digitalization agenda.
With the rising demand of Cybersecurity professionals, Hon. Owusu-Ekuful urged Ghanaian youth interested in activities within the technology space to leverage on the various opportunities available to them.
“Once people acquire the requisite skills, the jobs are waiting both in the private and public sectors.
“So far, 180 agencies have been identified as Critical Information Infrastructure that needs to build up their cyber security defences to protect vulnerable systems.”Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful
The Communication Minister speaking to the media said, as it stands, there are more jobs within the digital space as compared to the number of skilled professionals available. Hence, the need to resourcefully equip the youth within the sector.
“They will, as professionals, help to protect the vulnerable systems and all these are possible jobs waiting. They are not only in the public but the private sector as well. So long as we are digitizing, we need to take a critical look at cybersecurity as well.”Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful
Touching on the provisions made by the government of Ghana, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful stated the establishment of the Cybersecurity Fund which will be contained in the upcoming 2022 budget statement.
This development, the Communication Minister revealed, comes after the newly instituted Cyber Security Authority was given the mandate to boost and strengthen the country’s cybersecurity space.
The move to establish a Cybersecurity Fund, Hon. Owusu-Ekuful stated, aligns with the provisions contained in the Section 29 of the Cybersecurity Act 2020.
Cybercrimes, according to reports, is estimated to have cost about US$ 6 trillion so far in 2021, and it is expected to reach a threshold of about US$ 10.5 trillion by 2025.
Global cybersecurity challenges
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “over two-thirds of global financial institutions have seen an increase in cyberattacks in recent years. In the UK alone, the number of security breaches has increased by over 480%”.
“Cybersecurity is no longer just about firewalls, data encryption, and strong passwords. While those are still necessary, they are not enough to fight a threat that knows no borders.
“Cyber risk often stems from malicious intent, and a successful cyber-attack, unlike most other sources of risk – can shut down a supervised firm immediately and lead to systemwide disruptions and failures.”International Monetary Fund
As disclosed by the IMF, tools required for hacking into digital systems have become relatively cheaper, simpler and more powerful.
This, the IMF disclosed, permits even the low-level skilled hackers to do more damage to digital infrastructure systems.
“The expansion of mobile-based services (the only technological platform available for many people), increases the opportunities for hackers.
“Attackers target large and small institutions, rich and poor countries, and operate without borders. Fighting cybercrime and reducing risk must therefore be a shared undertaking across and inside countries.”International Monetary Fund
Also, the World Bank describing the nature of cybercrime and cyber security, said, “for each kind of crime in the analog world, there is an equivalent in the digital world”.
“For instance, theft of property or identity can occur digitally. Hostage taking, ransom holding, attacks on critical infrastructure. These occurrences that amount to crime in the real world have a cybercrime parallel in the virtual world.”World Bank
The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) highlighting the demand for cybersecurity professionals said cybersecurity will continue to grow as technology becomes digitally connected.
“The Internet of Things and cloud computing will have a major impact on the growth of security threats. That means the need for skills to combat these problems will grow.”International Business Machines Corporation