Ghana has joined two international organizations to promote domestic cybersecurity development in the country. This feat stems from the government’s commitment to developing the country’s cyberspace to be secure and resilient for Ghana’s sustained digital transformation.
The Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), which was officially launched during the Global Conference on Cyberspace 2015, currently comprises more than one hundred and fifteen (115) members and partners from all the regions of the world.
It is a platform that promotes the implementation of priority and strategic capacity-building activities and initiatives underpinned by effective multi-stakeholder engagement and participation involving civil society, the private sector, and other non-state actors, among others. Ghana officially joined the GFCE in March 2021, after going through the necessary process.
FIRST is a premier organization established in 1990 by five security teams and currently boasts of a membership of five hundred and seventy-five teams comprising government bodies, universities, corporations, and other institutions across several countries.
FIRST facilitates information-sharing, incident response and prevention, vulnerability analysis, computer security, management and policy issues, and research towards the prevention of cyber-attacks on worldwide platforms and systems such as the recent supply chain-based attacks (Hafnium and SolarWinds attacks) which affected a myriad of institutions worldwide.
The National CERT (CERT-GH) at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) officially joined FIRST in May 2021 after a rigorous assessment conducted by FIRST-affiliate experts.
Commenting on these two developments, the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful highlighted the importance of international collaboration for effective implementation of the recently passed Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038).
“Ghana’s domestic cyber resilience is very much dependent on strong international collaboration arrangements and our membership of these industry-led global institutions is timely as we begin the implementation of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020”.
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As a member of these international bodies, the NCSC is expected to benefit from joint capacity-building programs, information sharing, and technical tools to effectively detect and prevent cybersecurity incidents. The Ministry, under the leadership of Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, led efforts for the passage of the cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) by Parliament on November 6, 2020.
The Act was subsequently assented to law by President H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on December 29, 2020. With the passage of Act 1038, the NCSC is expected to transition into a Cyber Security Authority (CSA) before the end of the year.
Ghana’s membership of the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFC) and the Forum of Incident Response and Security Team (FIRST), is part of efforts to improve the country’s cybersecurity. The cybersecurity collaboration between the government of the United States and the government of Ghana provides technical support and assistance for Ghana’s membership of FIRST.