Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure Directive
Remarks for Charge Nicole Chulick
National Communications Authority Tower Conference Room
October 1, 2021
- Joe Anokye, Director-General, National Communications Authority
- Albert Antwi-Boasiako, National Security Advisor
- Maxwell Opoku-Afari, First Deputy Governor, Bank of Ghana
- Honorable Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister for Energy
- Honorable Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communications and Digitalization
- Members of the Diplomatic Corps
- Distinguished guests
- Ladies and Gentlemen
- All protocols observed
Thank you for welcoming me here today as we celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the launch of Ghana’s Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure Directive.
We live in an increasingly globalized world. We – and our economies – are connected more than ever. This is why we need to work together to confront this global challenge.
I’d like to congratulate the Government of Ghana for its continued efforts to create a secure cyber ecosystem through the Security Governance Initiative and for passing the Cyber Security Act of 2020. The subsequent establishment of the Cyber Security Authority demonstrates Ghana’s commitment to the protection of critical information infrastructure and the need to prevent, manage, and respond to cybersecurity crimes and threats, and foster Ghana’s growing digital economy. In the United States, we established the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in 2018 to lead U.S. efforts in the public and private sector. This follows on the work of its successor agency founded in 2007.
As our world is transformed by the revolution in information technology, cyber criminals work to exploit every opportunity they find. While cybercrime threats can come from anywhere – from lone individuals to nation states – the greatest challenges arise from emerging transnational networks that allow once-isolated criminals to join forces with one another, often anonymously.
Transnational organized criminals are constantly finding new ways to use technology to facilitate traditional crimes, for example using crypto currencies and the Dark Web to create illicit global markets for drugs, weapons, illicit wildlife products, and human trafficking.
Fast-evolving cybercrime techniques pose a tremendous challenge to law enforcement, especially where real time engagement is required among developing nations with limited resources. As we saw back in February, thanks to coordination between U.S. and Ghanaian law enforcement, the FBI arrested six criminals in Ghana for more than $50 million in cyber crimes including money laundering, online scams, fraud, and identify theft. It was through international cooperation between the United States and Ghana that these criminals were brought to justice.
Ransomware targeting private industry is a growing threat to the global economy, including Ghana and the United States. As more businesses moved online during the last year and a half, so did criminals. We must remind ourselves that criminals and their online techniques have no borders, and they have no morals. Without robust cybersecurity, cyber criminals also have no limits to the effects they can have on Ghana’s economy as they target businesses, government, and individuals.
For President Biden, cyber security is a top priority and essential to national and economic security. We know our allies and partners are a tremendous source of strength and advantage in the continuing fight against cyber criminals. We look forward to our continuing and collaborative relationship between the United States and Ghana,