Demand protection of personal information – Albert Yirenkyi Danquah
The Chief Information Security Officer of Stanbic Bank, Albert Yirenkyi Danquah, has advised Ghanaians to demand the protection of their information from service providers because no one is immune to the devastating effects of cyberattacks.
Mr. Yirenkyi Danquah said this at a public symposium organized by the Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana in partnership with digiCAP and the University of Cape Coast.
According to him, the possibility of online data breaches and cybercrimes are high due to the vast number of Ghanaians that are online.
“About 50 per cent of Ghanaians are online doing one thing or the other and according to Kaspersky, Ghana is the 78th most attacked country in the world relative to cyberattacks. This means people are busy in our cyber space and chances are that we are all potential targets,” Mr. Yirenkyi Danquah said.
He further noted that in Ghana and in the West African Sub-Region, the motivation for cyberattacks is usually financial, making financial institutions the primary target for cyberattacks.
Mr. Yirenkyi Danquah noted that “Even though we may not hear frequently of reports of cyberattacks, they happen all the time, particularly with people trying to defraud others using digital means. I am sure we have all received calls from strange numbers trying to defraud us. That is how common cases of cybercrimes have become now.”
Albert Yirenkyi Danquah advised government to consider including risk management in its national cybersecurity strategy while at the same time, building resilience and the foundational capability to protect national assets due to their vulnerability to cyberattacks. He also encouraged international cooperation with other countries to help minimize the incidents of cyberattacks.
“A lot is happening to push cybersecurity to the fore. This is evident in the passing of the Data Protection Act passed in 2012 and the Cybersecurity Act in 2020. The Bank of Ghana has also been very proactive in making sure that the financial sector is protected from cyberattacks. There is however a lot more to be done on both the national and individual level to make us more secure,” he added.
The symposium, which was held under the theme “State of Ghana’s Cybersecurity: Should we be Concerned?”, brought together key players from industry, academia and government to deliberate on Ghana’s cybersecurity and measures to be taken to ensure that Ghanaians are protected.
Other panelists included Jacqueline Hanson-Kotei, Senior Manager, Enterprise Information Security & Governance, MTN Ghana, Paul K. Arhin Jr., Lecturer, Computer Science Department, University of Cape Coast and Dr. Quist Aphesti Kester, Senior Lecturer at the Ghana Communication Technology University.