- though it lost US$150m to cyberfraud in 2018, Ghana now on brink of a cyber-security regime
- Microsoft commends Ghana’s cybersecurity action plan
The six months directive given by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for financial institutions to appoint chief information security officers in compliance with ensuring cyber security in the country’s financial sector is in its final stage in this month of April.
In October last year, the BoG issued a directive for cybersecurity compliance across all cyber related sectors, with an expectation that banks and other financial service providers appoint chief information security officers by April 2019.
As most banking institutions are fervently working towards achieving the guidelines from the Central Bank, others including Zenith and Fidelity Bank have made enormous strides in that regard.
However, the BoG has said, full compliance to the regulation will definitely take time, spanning 24 months or more.
Instructively, Microsoft has commended Ghana for its cyber security action plan particularly in the country’s financial services industry.
The Government Affairs Director for Microsoft Nigeria and Ghana, Rimini Makama lauded the country’s efforts for being a trailblazer in cyber security advocacy in Africa.
“This country is a step ahead of the rest of the continent in cybersecurity as there is a data protection authority, a robust data protection law, this being one of the best in Africa, and now the infrastructure is being developed to attain full compliance” she said.
Ramini Makama, was speaking to the Goldstreet Business on the sidelines of a cybersecurity workshop in Accra, to demonstrate compliance with BoG’s cybersecurity directive to financial institutions.
“This country is more active in data protection, cyber security, legislation on the continent. It is one of the few countries that has a data protection law with the central bank coming out with this directive. Nigeria started quite recently” she added.
Despite the strides, the country lost an estimated US$150 million to cyberfraud and other insecure cyber activities in 2018 according to Ghanaian IT Company, Innovare.
However, a Kenyan IT company, Serianu Limited, is more conservative in its loss estimates which estimate that Ghana lost about US$54 million to cyberfraud in 2017, with the amount reaching almost US$60 million last year.
But CK Bruce, CEO at Innovare, said the amount the country lost to cyber fraud last year triples the figure presented by Serianu.
“It’s a complex situation and we are losing a lot more than that. It is therefore refreshing that the BoG and other central banks across the continent are embarking on lots of activism to ensure cybersecurity” he indicated.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe