The National Cyber Security Advisor, Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako has called on the Electoral Commission to put robust cybersecurity measures in place to protect its system from hacking.
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Given the reported cases of hacking of electoral systems in other countries during elections, there was the need for the EC to put measures in place to protect the Commission of cyber attack.
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Dr Antwi-Boasiako made the call in an interview with the Ghanaian Times after a high-level discussion on the election and cybersecurity to close the 2019 National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
The one-week programme, attended by participants and ministers from some West African countries was on the theme “Demonstrating Ghana’s cyber-security readiness.”
It was organised by the Ministry of Communications and National Cyber Security Centre to create awareness on cyber security issues and attacks and the impact of the menace on the economy, corporate bodies and individuals.
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The National Cyber Security Advisor said the threat of cyber was real as some unscrupulous people continue to hack the data of state, corporate bodies and individuals to steal their information.
Cyber attacks on the EC`s data system, he said could pose a serious threat to the country and elections.
The National Cyber Security Advisor called on the government, political parties, international and data companies to support the EC to protect its data system.
He said in a bid to protect critical national data infrastructure, the Minister of Communications would issue a directive to all state entities which handle data to put measures in place to protect their systems from cyber attack.
Dr Antwi-Boasiako said the panel discussion on cyber security and elections had become necessary to create awareness on the need to protect the country’s electoral system from cyber attacks.
He said the main issues which were raised by participants were the need to increase awareness creation on cyber-security and funding.
The Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Enam Hadzide closing the programme said government was committed to investing in cyber security to protect the state, corporate bodies and individuals from cyber attacks.
He said with the increasing use of digital tools and services, there was the need to protect consumers of digital technology from cyber-attacks.
Mr Hadzide disclosed that the National Cyber Security Bill would soon be passed into law, to among others, help establish a National Cyber Security Fund.
The Deputy Minister cautioned the media to desist from using the media to spread fake and malicious information as the country approaches the next year’s general elections.
As part of the programme, some corporate bodies and individuals were awarded for their contributions to the promotion of cybersecurity issues.
They include NCA, Data Protection Commission, Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC), Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Ghana Community Network System (GCNet), Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) Ghana and Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA).