Gov’t to set up Computer Emergency
Response Team to combatc
cyber Crime in Ghana
Ankiilu Kunateh, Ghanadot
Accra, June 17, Ghanadot - The
Government of Ghana is to set up Ghana National Computer
Emergency Response Team (GNCERT) to clampdown the current
high incident of cyber crimes in the country.
Furthermore, the GNCERT is a national initiative to tackle
emerging challenges in the area of information security and
country level security risks and vulnerabilities.
The GNCERT will be set up by the Ministry of Communications
at the Ministry of Information where the National Official
Website is located.
The Vice President of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama,
disclosed this at the International Telecommunication Union
(ITTU) Forum on the implementation of decisions of the World
Telecommunication Standardization in Accra.
“I am charging the Ministry of Communications to quickly
engage the other stakeholders and the security services to
bring up the framework for its establishment”, he stressed.
According to ICT experts, all financial institutions,
medical institutions, corporations, government agencies,
universities among others should also be networked so that
their websites will be monitored to forestall organisational
lapses and enforce operational resiliency to achieve
There is a strong belief that government’s websites are much
easier to be attacked due to their weak protective measures
and maintenance and therefore the official website at
Ministry of Information should be protected well, install
recommended antivirus software to save it from
Indeed, all over the world, cyber crimes have become a
threat to the economies of the highly industrialised, middle
income status and the developing nations in which Ghana is
no exception. As a result, most countries have formed
Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to monitor
unauthorised entry into government websites as well as
ensure that security and business continuity activities are
co-ordinated in various organisations.
Statistics released by the World Conference Board-Consumer
Internet Barometer in 2005, indicates that cyber fraud
incidents are occurring more frequently with more serious
results all over the world. For instances 41 per cent
internet consumers are buying products less online because
of privacy concerns while 13 per cent of the internet
consumers have been victims of identity theft and as a
result have become fed-up with transactions on the internet.
More than 50 per cent respondents are more concerned about
their online privacy than they were a year ago, and 81per
cent users of internet have stopped accessing it.
Furthermore, network administrators are said to be
shouldering 100 per cent of cyber crime burdens and chief
executive officers are always becoming scared of litigation
and its consequences.
Ghanaians cannot behave like the proverbial ostrich that
would not accept any truth concerning its safety. Ghana is
not secured at all when it comes to cyber security issues
because more often than not the print media have captured
serious incidents of impersonation occurring in some of our
The last sitting of the Public Account Committee of
Parliament unearthed serious financial crimes allegedly
committed by some public officers in the cyber space. The
alleged discrepancies in the 2008 Electoral Commission’s
(EC’s) voter register early last year in the Ashanti Region
would not have occurred if the EC is nationally networked
and has put measures like CERT in place to check how
information is released and stored.
Today, some professionals and public officers receive
negative and violent text messages making them scared for
their lives. Besides, our country is gradually becoming a
transit point for illicit drugs and these developments
should serve as a wake up call to security fraud issues.
Furthermore, government’s enormous interventions like the
liberalisation of the telecommunication sector, the coming
into force of the National Information Communication
Technology (ICT) Backbone to serve as a route through which
all Ghanaians can access the facilities easily. The about11,
829 broadband4u connectivity deployed across, the automation
of the trading platform of the Ghana Stock Exchange, the
introduction of the e- zwitch device coupled with the
development of government’s e-strategies that seek to make
the emerging ICT a reliable tool to accelerate development
and to promote economic competitiveness, will definitely
double the number of internet users making Ghana very prone
to cyber frauds.
It is therefore heart-warming that Ghana’s Minister of
Communications, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, at the International
Telecommunication Union (ITTU) Forum on the implementation
of decisions of the World Telecommunication Standardization
in Accra. noted that the Government of Ghana had
demonstrated at the highest level, its commitment to the
promotion of ICT and the present challenges posed by the
global financial crunch necessitates that we carefully
nurture the ICT industry to safely pull us through the
The Vice President, Mahama called for regional approach to
contain the emerging development of human and drug
trafficking issues and it will be prudent for cyber crime
control in Africa to be given the same prominence because
Africa is the only continent that CERT is not known or
practised in any of its countries.