Ghana Enhances Cyber Security Of Its MDAs, Others

Launch of Security Operations Centre in Accra

Accra, Ghana, October 23, 2020//-Ghana has enhanced the cyber security of its Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to safeguard them from cyber attacks and other related activities.

This follows the launch of National Information Technology Agency (NITA) Security Operations Centre (SOC), an infrastructure which would improve security of the MDAs.

The SOC specifically focuses on cyber threats, monitoring, forensic investigations, incident management, reporting, escalation and close with proper justification and root cause of events and incidents.

The SOC adds to similar interventions which the government has implemented to improve cyber security incident response across different sectors of the Ghanaian economy.

These include the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) for the telecommunications sector at the National Communications Authority (NCA); and the Security Operations Centre (SOC) launched by the Bank of Ghana in 2018 to address cybersecurity challenges in the financial sector.

These interventions are critical elements for the effective operationalization of the Cybercrime and cyber security Incident Reporting Points of Contact (PoC).

Speaking at the launch of the SOC at the forecourt of the ministry, the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said: “The operationalization of this initiative marks another monumental stride in our efforts towards securing Ghana’s digital journey as we continue to pursue the digitalization agenda ardently”.

The NITA-SOC according to her would work with the National CERT and the IT teams of the MDAs to ensure that all activities undertaken by MDAs within the digital ecosystem is secured and safeguarded to ensure effective delivery of services by MDAs.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful added: “One key benefit of NITA’s SOC will be improved security incident detection among MDAs to ensure a secured digital space within which MDAs can operate and interact.

The SOC will also offer services including network monitoring aimed at consistently monitoring the network of the MDAs in real time and be instantly apprised of threats as they occur”.

With advanced analytical and correlation technology to recognize threats, the SOC will aid in the identification of patterns and prioritization of problems for optimized resource and threat management, she noted.

To be clear, the NITA-SOC will not operate in a silo but will work in collaboration with the entire CERT ecosystem led by the National CERT under the direction of the NCSC, the minister assured.

On his part, the National Cybersecurity Advisor, Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako said the establishment of the SOC at the NITA marks another milestone of government’s strategic intervention to scale up cybersecurity readiness.

He revealed that between January and August of this year alone, more than 5,000 residents made contact with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), through the National CERT, for guidance and advice in addressing cybersecurity issues of which most of them involved online fraud.

Therefore the work of the National CERT through the PoC has potentially spared more than 5,000 Ghanaians from being defrauded, Dr Antwi-Boasiako added.

“The trend captured by the statistics from the PoC is redefining the priorities of the National CERT and we are grateful for the direction and the support given so far in our efforts to position the National CERT to be able to meet the demands and expectations of the public, who are our clients”.

In his welcome address, the Director-General of NITA, Richard Okyere-Ofosu described the SOC as an important command centre of highly skilled and talented ethical hackers and security analysts operating with defined processes and supported by integrated security intelligence technologies.

The NITA which is an agency under the Ministry of Communications launched the SOC as part of the activities marking this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), under the theme –‘Cybersecurity in the era of COVID -19’.

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