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General News of Sunday, 21 July 2019


In the strength of the cyber world, lies its weakness – ACDRO

In the strength of the cyber world lies its main weakness, Mr Kenneth Adu-Amanfoh, Executive Director, Africa Cybersecurity Digital Rights Organisation (ACDRO), has said.

He said in the cyber world, just like the real world, there were plenty of risks and dangers; adding that financial crimes would occur whenever there was money to be made and for sure criminals and hackers alike would use their best endeavours to penetrate the defense of the cyber world to rob or steal.

Mr Adu-Amanfoh, who was speaking at the second Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Cybersecurity Workshop in Accra, said hackers could choose to attack customers and financial firms anytime and anywhere because the virtual world is highly interconnected.

He said cyber-attacks could take many different forms; stating that frequently used method was to make phishing attempts to trick customers into divulging their account information and passwords, or to plant malware into customers’ computers and mobile phones to steal their access credentials and then the hackers transfer moneys from the victims’ accounts.

The workshop was organised by ACDRO in partnership with the Global Partners Digital (GPD) on the theme “Making Our National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy Citizen-Centre”.

The objective of the workshop was to equip CSOs with expert knowledge to enable them to contribute meaningfully to National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy to be more citizen-centric as well as promote the digital rights of the citizenry.

This second CSOs workshop follows the successful organisation of the maiden one in February this year, which focused on awareness creation.

“It is hard for us to imagine how quickly the digital and internet technology has transformed the way in which we our lives,” Mr Adu-Amanfoh said.

“Twenty years ago many of us were wondering whether internet banking would become widely accepted as a preferred and trusted channel for conducting banking businesses. Now it would be hard to contemplate how a retail bank can survive a single day if the internet or digital banking services are down for whatever reasons.”

He said given the virtual nature and interconnectedness of the cyber world, clearly the security of the cyber world would require different approach and tools from those used in the physical world.

“In the real world, you would protect your home and property by installing a safe door with a strong lock. You may want to buy a safe deposit box to store your cash and valuables at home. Some may even subscribe to an anti-burglary system. For those who take their home security even more seriously, they may hire on-site security guards, just like kings and queens who build heavily guarded forts to protect them and their families from the attacks by their enemies,” he said.

“Well, one thing for sure, all these security or safety measures do not come cheaply but it is the price that people know that they have to pay for protection of their physical properties.”

He said the cybersecurity today was at the top of the list of priorities in many countries and efforts were being made across the globe to mitigate risk of cyber-attacks.

He said the cyber menace was pervasive and cut across all walks of life because the Internet had become the principal mode of communications today.

He said although many are unaware, there are several attacks being launched from their cell phones and personal computers because of the lack of culture of cybersecurity.

Mr Adu-Amafoh said the country could perceived as being a fertile ground for launch of cyber-attacks whereas of the menace and putting in place were medial measures would wipe away this perception.

He said though the internet has become a powerful tool for information sharing, self-expression and communication, the increase in cyber threats had outweighed the enjoyment of internet rights and freedom.

Madam Lea Kaspar, Executive Director, GPD, said GPD’s cyber capacity building programme aims to make cyber policy-making processes around the world more open and inclusive.

Major General (rtd) Francis Adu-Amanfoh, Chairman, ACDRO, and Ghana’s Ambassador to Mali, said citizen’s rights in the cyberspace must be entrenched in cybersecurity strategies.

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