Members of the Chamber of Commerce in Takoradi trained on the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038)

The members of the Western Regional branch of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) have been sensitized on the new Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) and its implications on their businesses. The session took place in Takoradi on 21st October 2021 as part of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).

Speaking at the event, the Regional Chairman of the GNCCI, Mr. Maxwell Archer said businesses have improved since the introduction of the digital transformation agenda as it has represented the greatest opportunity for them to transform and interface with the rest of the world. He also said he was happy with how technology has helped and in shaping the economy, making possible the delivery of public services online.

He indicated further that digital transformation has even helped the small-scale farmers as they can now grow more crops and reach wider markets. He added however that despite the excitement that comes with the use of technology, increasing use of technology also presents high risks to businesses and individuals. He was thus optimistic and confident that the passage of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) will help regulate and address cyber-related issues in the country and develop Ghana’s cybersecurity ecosystem.

He also stressed that the Act had come at the right time to guide businesses and entrepreneurs considering that their operations are being transferred onto the internet. “I am convinced that with the passage of the Act, a concerted effort by all stakeholders would inure to a better appreciation of their role in ensuring they are all cyber secured”.

The Acting Director-General of the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, in his remarks and presentation on the Cybersecurity Act 2020, indicated that cybersecurity is important and has an impact on how the government, individuals, and businesses conduct their operations. Explaining further that Sections 35-40 of Act 1038 provide for the protection of critical information infrastructure (CII) which directly impacts industry and commercial activities. Stressing that, all the critical sectors of the economy including commerce and industry, when attacked, will have a direct impact on the economy and therefore the need to ensure their protection. He cited cyber-attacks on the critical systems in East Africa (Uganda and Kenya) which brought businesses to a standstill. He added that in as much as there is no control on digitalization participants should navigate through it by ensuring responsible use of online systems.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako urged the Regional Chairman to incorporate cybersecurity into their activities to help address some cybersecurity related issues and to call on the Authority for assistance in such capacity building exercises. He indicated that cybersecurity is not just a technology problem, but also a social problem and hence the government’s role as an enabler of the country’s cybersecurity development.

Other members of the CSA team further educated participants on the safe usage of the internet and advised them to be smart and vigilant when online so that they do not fall prey to cyber fraud and other forms of crimes perpetrated online. Also, in Takoradi, the CSA team engaged with the members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana, on the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038), its implications and the role of the accountants to ensure that the provisions of the Act are implemented.