Government To Develop Cyber Security Policy

Government is developing a National Cyber Security Policy framework and strategy to deal with cyber threats, Ms Victoria Hamah, Deputy Minister of Communications said on Monday. Consequently, an agreement had been signed with the International Telecommunication Union to help develop a national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), to react rapidly to security threats that may affect the national security and well-being of Ghanaians using the cyber space. Ms Hamah made this known at the opening session of the Ghana Network Operators’ Group (GhNOG) workshop organised in Accra. The four-day workshop is an annual event that draws participants from the public and private sectors to discuss issues about the adoption, design, implementation and management of networks and associated technologies in government, academia and industry. Ms Hamah said Government is poised to drift towards an information economy and is in the process of upgrading the critical national infrastructural development through the support of the US. “An I-root server project is in progress while the Ghana Internet Exchange will be expanded to have hubs in Takoradi, Kumasi and Tamale,” she said. Ms Hamah said the upgrade would ensure that access to information would be very fast whilst bandwidth utilisation would be optimal. She expressed optimism that the workshop would build on the capacity of participants to manage the CERT and other networks. Ms Hamah called on the Information Technology Association of Ghana (ITAG) and the National Information Technology Agency (NITA)to begin the accreditation process to ensure that all capacity developed are properly harnessed and accessible in a timely manner by government and the private sector to ensure no skills gap in the management of the emerging infrastructure. Mr William Tevie, Director General of NITA said the Agency is working to design guidelines to make information technology (IT) practices more efficient and effective. “NITA will be glad to have tutorial at future GhNOG workshops where these guidelines can be shared with the technical community for adoption to enhance development of the IT profession in Ghana,” he added. Mr Tevie said ITAG is currently working toward a membership that would be based on professional competence and experience, adding a national database based on certified IT practitioners would soon be published. “It is my hope that once this has been done, persons with skills from such workshops will be duly recognised and tapped for national development,” he added. Mr Tevie underscored the importance of the GhNoG platform and called on partner organisations to the GhNOG to join hands with NITA to upgrade the national Critical Internet Infrastructure (CII) that would be deployed soon. “Our desire is to have a multi-stakeholder approach in developing the CII,” he said. Professor Anthony K Ahiawodzi, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra, said information and communication technology is crucial to the delivery of education in the 21st Century. “Not only does it grant institutions of higher learning the ability to enhance teaching, learning and research capacity, it also offers the opportunity to extend reach through distance learning; thus positioning the institutions to address the challenges and responsibilities facing higher education…,”he said. Prof Ahiawodzi said the University is grateful for the partnership that exist between the Ghana Chapter of Internet Society, a non-governmental organisation, NITA and the University system aimed at driving innovation and enhancing competitiveness of the institutions of higher learning. He stressed the need to for the leverage on emerging technologies to facilitate collaboration between university administrators, faculty, students to use related technologies to develop portfolios, course assignments, standards and outcome based projects, to enable students to access and submit assignments online.