To ensure a safer digital Ghana, the e-Crime Bureau in partnership with Cyber Essentials Direct Limited has launched the Cyber Essentials certification programme, which is an initiative of the United Kingdom’s government.

This is a further boost for the country’s cyber-security mechanism.

At the launch of the certification programme, the Deputy Minister for Communications, Vincent Sowah Odotei said, “There is therefore the need for cooperation from all stakeholders and businesses to take full advantage of the Cyber Essentials Certification Programme as an investment in improving Ghana’s cybersecurity ecosystem.”

The Cyber Essentials Scheme has been developed to protect organisations irrespective of their size against persistent cyber-threats.

The Cyber Essentials programme is implemented by a scheme which includes a basic assessment of an organization’s cyber security readiness and the measurement of their defences against common forms of cyber-attacks against international standard technical controls.

“While the government is taking concrete steps to improve the institutional framework in the fight against cybercrime, I strongly believe that the implementation of the Cyber Essentials Certification Programme in Ghana, by e-Crime Bureau and Cyber Essentials Direct Ltd., is also a re-enforcement of this nation’s cybersecurity mechanisms,” he asserted.

The Cybercrime Unit within the Ghana Police Service recently released a report on how cybercrime has cost the country roughly US$ 230 million over the period from 2016 to August 2018.

In 2016 alone, the damage rose to over US$35 million, while in 2017 this almost doubled to reach more than US$ 69 million. Bank losses rose to 40 percent of that amount, or US$ 28 million, proving that large financial institutions are consistent targets for hackers looking for ways to steal money.

In the period leading from the start of 2018 to August of the same year, when the report was made public, US$ 97 million was already lost, according to the cases reported to the unit.

A Senior Consultant at the e-Crime Bureau, Dr. Suzanne Nti said, “The vulnerable cyber space that we operate in calls for institutions to redefine their corporate governance structures and strategies by making the fight against fraud and cybercrime a center of it.”

The Scheme’s track record in the United Kingdom has encouraged and supported institutions to enhance their capacities, preparedness and commitment to ensure a safe digital environment for business.

Being a UK Government initiative, it has provided quality assurance and confidence to clients and stakeholders of institutions as a secured approach to protect investments amidst everyday cyber-threats.