Ghana opened a security operations center (SOC) to monitor and respond to cyberattacks.
The center, run by the National Information Technology Agency under the Ministry of Communications, will protect data from Ghana’s governmental ministries, departments and agencies.
“The SOC will offer services, including network monitoring, which will ensure that government networks are monitored consistently in real time and will contribute to the identification of patterns and prioritization of problems for optimized resource and threat management,” Communications Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful told GhanaWeb.
The center is expected to partner with the national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Ghana has a history of cybercrime mostly related to credit card fraud, identity theft and advance-fee scams. The country lost $105 million in 2019 due to cybercrime, the center reported.
Ghana has made cybersecurity a priority in recent years. In 2020, its Parliament passed the Cybersecurity Act to protect critical national infrastructure, regulate online activity and protect children from online exploitation. In November 2020, the cybercrime unit of the Ghana Police made headlines when it arrested the administrator of Empressleak, a website that extorted people by posting revenge pornography.
“Staying one step ahead of cybercriminals requires diligent work to identify, report and ultimately eliminate vulnerabilities,” said Christopher Lamora, charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Accra.
The head of the center, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, is confident that the country is making gains against criminals. He credited citizens who reach out to the center to report incidents through email, WhatsApp, text messages or phone calls.
“Between January and August of  alone, more than 5,000 residents made contact with the NCSC, through the National CERT, for guidance and advice in addressing cyber security issues of which most of them involved online fraud,” Antwi-Boasiako told GhanaWeb.