Cybersecurity in Ghana: Vigilance First

Highlighting the Cyber Intelligence and Security Aid Bureau (CISAB) Vigilance First Campaign for Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 in Ghana.


The Republic of Ghana has built a reputation as one of the most cyber secure countries, not just in Africa, but the world. Data protection and privacy rights are protected by law, and Ghana is one of the few countries to have signed the African Union Convention on Cybersecurity and Personal Data Protection, and deposited the instruments of accession to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. In October 2019, the Economic Community of West African States endorsed Ghana as the champion in the region on cyber security and cybercrime matters, requesting the country to act as ambassador in the field and share best practices with neighboring countries. 

Nevertheless, according to the E-Crime Bureau, 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 are estimated to be 40% of that amount while a large part of the remaining 60% can be attributed to crimes committed against individuals, micro and small businesses. These numbers are likely to have increased during the pandemic as businesses and individuals became ever more dependent on technology.

While they have evolved and become more sophisticated in the past few years, these crimes traditionally involve credit card fraud, and capitalize on the vulnerabilities of internet users. GCA advocates that the best way to prevent falling victim to cyber crime is to implement cybersecurity best practices such as creating strong passwords, making sure software is up to date, enabling antivirus, blocking access to known malicious websites, and not clicking on suspicious links. These are all solutions available to everyone, everywhere, at no cost. Making the community aware of those risks and solutions is the core mission of GCA’s new partner: The Cyber Intelligence and Security Aid Bureau (CISAB).

Each and every one of us needs to do our part to make sure that our online lives are kept safe and secure in order to secure the economy and society we live in. That’s what Cybersecurity Awareness Month is all about and that was the goal of CISAB’s “Vigilance First” campaign.

In October, the CISAB team visited community centres and churches, and invested time in social media platforms to engage with the communities of the Eastern Region, Ghana, to discuss the importance of cybersecurity, focusing on four aspects: Password, Patching and Software Updates, Controlling USB drives, and Antivirus. Over the month, +1,000 people were reached by the Vigilance First campaign and were provided with free tools and resources available in the GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit, which  explain the importance of these best practices and walks users through how to implement them. 

Beneficiaries of CISAB’s Vigilance First campaign saw cybersecurity to be sophisticated at first and they are now empowered to take charge of their own basic cybersecurity. In giving credit for this successful campaign, GCA can not be left out since their elucidated free resources and tools on cybersecurity made CISAB’s campaign messages easy to grasp for the communities.

– Mr. Ernest Opare, Co-Director & Senior Volunteer i/c of Security and Intelligence Campaigns at CISAB.