A total of 3,804 actual incidents were reported to the Cyber Security Authority (CSA) between 2019 and 2023. The figures show that there has been a growing number of cyber incidents in the country. An official of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) of the CSA, Mr Aaron Felix Boateng, revealed this when he delivered a presentation on cyber awareness to staff of the Ministry of Energy at a cybersecurity sensitisation training as part of the Authority’s awareness creation mandate.

The training, which took place at the Ministry in Accra is the second in three weeks, following a similar engagement with employees at the Ministry of Education.

Aaron Boateng, the "development call for an urgent intervention by the Ministry, which is a critical state agency, to implement proactive measures to safeguard its valuable data across departments".

Mr. Boateng indicated that data security within government agencies played a pivotal role in securing institutional integrity, adding that comprehensive measures were essential to ensure holistic cybersecurity resilience in the public sector space.

The training exercise addressed areas such as information classification and the role of government and its employees in ensuring online information safety, the Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA) Triad, and the serious and far-reaching effects of such breaches on the ministry’s operations.

Mr. Boateng noted that organisations should guard against the danger of insider threats where disgruntled employees threaten their organisations by issuing threats of disclosing confidential information to damage the integrity and security of institutions.

According to him, human factor played a critical role as the weakest link in cybersecurity. He, therefore, called on the management of the Ministry to guard this space and encouraged staff to remain vigilant in dealing with hackers who are highly sophisticated and operate with advanced technologies.

The sensitisation exercise shed light on threats including the ransomware cyber-attack on a prominent United States pipeline and the recent cyber-attack on Kenya’s e-Government services that halted public sector operations.

Those attacks, Mr Boateng stressed, should serve as a stark reminder that no country is immune from such attacks for which reason national vigilance was key.

Expressing appreciation to the CSA for the training, the Director of Policy Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Energy, Mr Isaac Nsarko Biney noted that the fight against cybercriminals required a collaborative effort of the people, institutions and the government. He tasked the management of the Ministry to harness resources to equip staff in cybersecurity issues.