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Business News of Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor

ISACA Accra Chapter holds 6th IT Governance Summit 2018

President of ISACA-Accra chapter, Mr. Carl Sackey President of ISACA-Accra chapter, Mr. Carl Sackey

The President of ISACA-Accra chapter, Mr. Carl Sackey has charged businesses, organizations and financial institutions in the country to explicitly come out and divulge information, share experiences and report on any form of attack(s), breaches or threats they might have suffered as a result of cybercrime so others too can learn from in order not to fall victim to any of such circumstances.

He averred that in order for businesses and institutions to be protected from cyber-criminal activities, it behooves on all stakeholders including government as well as the media to be committed towards vigorous public education and awareness creation in a bid to help improve knowledge.

“Technology actually brings efficiency and help us to focus on the core businesses that we want to achieve as humans. It is fast changing and seemed to be driving everything that we do therefore there’s the need to increase awareness on its knowledge, but it has to be a shared responsibility of all stakeholders including the government and the media as well”.

Mr. Sackey made this known in an interview with on the sidelines of the 6th IT Governance Summit of ISACA Accra chapter held at Aqua Safari Resort in Ada on Thursday October 11, 2018.

The summit, a two-day event (11-12 October) which was under the theme: “Value Delivery in the Changing Cyber Security Landscape” witnessed over 100 participants (IT personnel, technocrats, system analysts etc.) drawn from various institutions, organizations and businesses (banking, health, utility etc.) within both private and public sector in the country. It includes the GRA, ECG, COCOBOD, GWCL, Telcos, Banks and the Land Commission.

It was aimed at highlighting the importance of technology through open conversation, and bringing into the boardroom to critically examine what needs to be done to make sure the huge monies companies have invested into their businesses works for them and to eliminate the threats that can arise out of the use of technology as a tool.

Technology is fast changing the world giving way to upsurge in cases of cybercrime in recent times. According to the 2017 Africa Cyber Security Report, cybercrime costs African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania an estimated $1.078 billion a year.

The recent hack on Facebook which affected nearly 50 million users’ accounts also goes to back the claim that cybercrimes are really on ascendancy, the shocking revelation which demands that something urgent needs to be done to remedy the situation.

According to the President of Isaca Accra Chapter, Mr. Carl Sackey, hackers are even more motivated than ever considering the drive by businesses to integrate several technologies and systems and create more accessible products and services for customers.

This, he believes is the more reason why businesses, especially financial institutions ought to be committed to the application of rigorous enforcement measures and controls to minimize the impact of cyber-attacks.

Delivering his keynote address on the topic: “Strengthening the Cyber Resilience of the Financial Banking Sector”, Mr. Carl Sackey charged businesses, organizations and financial institutions in the country to be proactive rather than being reactive to malicious threats.

Suggesting what could be done when eventuality strikes, he said: organizations should ensure that they can recover from such attacks within reasonable time through effective Incident Response, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans to protect the interests of end-users and customers.

The Bank of Ghana as part of its digitization agenda and that of many banks is, taking measures to protect the interest of businesses, organizations and financial institutions in the country through Cyber and Information Security Directive. The initiative which is expected to be launched on October 22, 2018 will affect all financial institutions under the supervision of the Bank of Ghana.

Commenting on the move, Mr. Carl Sackey described it as “very commendable as there are growing expectations of the responsibility of financial institutions with respect to cyber security and data privacy”.

He averred that the same move was what informed his outfit’s decision to organize its latest forum dubbed the “6th IT Governance Summit 2018” which served as a platform where developments can be discussed and ideas shared.

The 6th IT Governance Summit 2018 brought together a tall list of distinguished IT experts (key speakers) from diverse background including the banking sector, academia and the cyber security system as panelists and moderators who led the participants into various discussions centered on IT Governance, building of resilient cyber security systems to avert threats including ideas that would be considered as input into the Bank of Ghana’s Cyber and Information Security Directive.

They include Ms. Patricia Adusei-Poku, Data Protection Commissioner who spoke on the topic: “Requirements of section 28-Security Measures” while Mr. Carl Sackey, ISACA Accra Chapter President led the discussion on the topic: “Preventing the Next Digital Black Swan: Importance of Effective IT Governance”.

A panel discussion focused on the topic: “The Bank of Ghana Directive on Cyber and Information Security: A Practical Approach to Compliance was moderated by Mr. Danny Gyampo, Ecobank including a lined up of notable panelists such as Elliot Amoako, (Bank of Ghana), Ash Dastmalchi, (Head of Cyber Security, Quantum Security), Nathaniel Tabariyeng, Partner (Tabariyeng & Associates) and Francis Kyere, (Information Security Consultant).

In addition, Mr. C.K Bruce, CEO of Innovare also made a remarkable presentation on the topic: Essential Element of good IT Governance.

On the topic: “The Evolution of Hacking: How can your Enterprise Adjust to New Trends?” Head of Cyber Security, Quantum Security Solutions, Mr. Ash Dastmalchi, addressing the audience, lay bare facts on various techniques and approaches businesses can adopt to resist cyber-attacks.

In an interview with journalists, he revealed the only way through which companies can be protected from cyber-attacks is to holistically adopt and strictly comply with the 3 step principle which revolves around PEOPLE, PROCESS & TECHNOLOGY. He further explained, companies, institutions and organizations must be committed to building capacity of staff their staff regularly, having proper procedures in place at work and making use of monitoring solutions that actually “gives you more feedback on what is happening on the ground”.

Other speakers include Eric Dampson, Cyber Forensic Analyst, MTN, Adjoa Asamoah, Philip Engmann, Vice President, Maranatha University, Dr Owusu Bediako-Poku, Dr. Peter Tobin (CIPD GIMPA.

Some other panelists whose contributions aided discussion during the concluding part of the summit under the able moderation of Mad. Adjoa Asamoah which was on the topic: Improving Cyber Security Governance in the Boardroom include Kwame Manu-Antwi, Talent IT Africa, Desmond Israel, Information Security Practitioner, Hayford Kumah and Carl Sackey.

For her part, Mad. Joyce Engmann, Programs Chair at Isaca Accra Chapter averred that discussions towards tackling cyber-attacks in the country should start from the board level to bring effective result.

She called on CEOs, MDs and Board Charis of various organizations and institutions in the country to strive to signed unto IT Governance capacity building conferences so as to absorb knowledge and understand the workings of the systems to make the work of IT personnel within their jurisdiction much easier.

“Please get involved. The cyber security does not happen in just one department, we are all part of the global digitization and data cycle that we’re talking about. So I’m entreating all CEOs to get involved. Get to understand, let’s all meet to discuss how we can mitigate the new challenges in the cyber security landscape and I’ll encourage the youth, get involved with ISACA, go on our website and if you need to contact me or any of the board members, go online, check up and get connected. We all need to be involved in eliminating the global menace” she stressed”.

The event was organized by ISACA Accra Chapter and supported by Ghana Community Network Services Limited(GNET), Cybersecurity Resilience Services Team(CSRT) and PCN ICT Training Centre.

ISACA is strategically focused on enhancing the awareness and capacity of Corporate Ghana in effectively managing technology as a strategic tool for the achievement of organizational goals.

It’s Accra chapter was formed by IT and Audit professionals in Accra, Ghana, as part of the global network of more than 120,000 professionals in 180 countries. The Accra chapter is ISACA’S 218th chapter worldwide. As an independent, non-profit, global association, ISACA engages in the development, adoption and use of globally accepted, industry-leading knowledge and practices for information systems.