THE MINISTRY of Communications has indicated it will soon begin a process to ensure key institutions in the country are protected from potential cyber attacks.

According to the sector minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the move is mandated by the Cyber Security Act which seeks to among others, protect the Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure of the country.

“Almost all sectors are using IT software and machine learning to enhance their services and these expose their data to cyber attack… so the cyber security act gives the minister the power to look at these critical sectors and designate them as critical information infrastructure and mandate them to have maximum standards of security to protect their own systems and data,” she said.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said her outfit has already identified some 150 institutions that are critical to the survival of the country and which if attacked, would cripple the country’s socio-economic development adding that the cyber security center will be contacting them soon to see how best they can upgrade their security system to protect their data.

“Once identified the cyber security center will work with you and if they prescribe measures and you do not abide by them they are empowered to issue administrative penalties to ensure our collective security,” she added.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful was speaking at the opening of an ICT workshop for female tertiary students in Accra.

The 10-day residential workshop being organised by the Ministry of Communications, with sponsorship from Huawei Technologies (Ghana) S.A. Limited, will take participants through ICT topics such as artificial intelligence as well as a career guidance session.

Mr. Owusu-Ekuful said the goal of the government is to ensure that Girls and young women in Ghana are supported to participate fully in the digital journey of the country.

“There is a huge gender gap in the ICT ecosystem and we have made it a priority to close the gap. We just commemorated the Girls-In-ICT initiative in the Western North Region where 1000 Girls ranging from Upper Primary to JHS 2 were trained in basic computer skills, coding,” she said.

“As the maiden event and the first of you ladies benefitting from the initiative, I wish to encourage you to focus on the training and the business competition as well. I also hope that going forward, you to become ambassadors to preach the ICT gospel to the younger ones in the primary and SHS schools,” she said.

Huawei Head of external Communications, Jenny Zhou Jianling, expressed the desire of the technology company to support the government bridge the gender gap in ICT.

She said Huawei has over the years supported girls and ladies gain access to training and tools that would enhance their ICT skills and position them better in the field.

“I am happy to say we are making a significant impact in the lives of Ghanaian girls and breaking the notion that ICT is a preserve for men,” she said.