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Microsoft to intensify partnership with Ghana to combat cybercrime

Accra, Dec. 3, GNA – Microsoft will continue to intensify its support for Ghana in combating cyber crime, Ms Angela Ng’ang’a, Microsoft’s Corporate Affairs Lead for East and South Africa, has said.

She said the fight against cybercrime required the collective efforts of stakeholders through information sharing, awareness creation, capacity building and putting in place the right technical mechanism.

She lauded Ghana for the passage of the Data Protection Act, 2012 (Act 843) to safeguard personal information.

The law provides for the process by which one could obtain, hold, use or disclose personal data while the Data Protection Commission has been established as an independent body to regulate and implement its provisions.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on the sidelines of a Cybersecurity Conference, Ms Ng’ang’a said there was the need for governments and corporate leadership to greatly improve their cybersecurity programmes in order to enhance their preparedness to combat cybercrime.

The conference was organised by the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) in collaboration with Microsoft as part the 2016 National Cybersecurity Week Celebration.

The Security Week Celebration was to create awareness on computer security incident response teams and their role in ensuring cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is the body of technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programmes and data from attack, damage or unauthorised access.

Ms Ng’ang’a said the Digital Crime Unit of Microsoft had been working with governments in Africa to come out with modalities to combat cybercrime.

She said in February, this year, Bangladesh nearly lost $101 million through cybercrime.

Ms Ng’ang’a said there were about one billion Microsoft uses worldwide and that the Cyber Defence Operation Centre of Microsoft received over 300 million heists or signals intending to commit crime daily.

She, however, explained that some cyber threats recorded might be due to malfunctioning personal computers (PCs).

She cited October 31 to November 6 when Microsoft recorded over 8,434 heists from Ghana alone; adding that in the week before it recorded 8,300 cases.

Ms Ng’ang’a said on the average there were about one million heists sent from Ghana on weekly basis with the intention to commit cybercrime.

She said worldwide 63 per cent of organisations were not having the capacity to know that their system had been breached.

She said statistics showed that in 2015 it took 220 days for most organisations to know that their cybersecurity system had been breached.

Digital risk assessment and employing the right people were critical elements for organisations in the fight against cybercrime, she said.

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