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Ghana News

Training Civil Society Organizations on Digital Security and Protection in Ghana

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Digital technology has become an integral part of the world, and cybersecurity is essential for any organization that wants to invest in it. Unfortunately, many African organizations, including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), are not adequately prepared for cyber-attacks. In Ghana, many CSOs struggle to leverage digital technology and do not give cybersecurity the priority it deserves.

According to Africa Business, 90% of African businesses operate without cybersecurity protocols, leaving them vulnerable to cyber threats like hacking, phishing, and malware attacks. This digital insecurity has significant economic consequences. In 2020, Ghanaians lost over USD $19 million to cybercrime, with 1,097 recorded cybercrime cases, according to data from the Cybercrime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

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To address this worrying situation, Penplusbytes, under the Civic Space Resource Hub project (CSR-Hub) of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and Spaces for Change (S4C), is training selected CSOs in Ghana on digital security and protection. The three-day training program, which forms part of activities under the CSR-Hub project launched in May 2022, will offer technical assistance and coaching to organizations to develop their internal digital security policies and action plans.

The training program will focus on digital security concerns, digital security and protection policies and strategies, staff awareness and capacity building, and digital assets/platforms protection and security. The need for non-profits in Ghana to train their staff on basic cyber issues cannot be overemphasized. NGOs globally rely on mobile and digital technologies to coordinate and fulfill their missions, making them very susceptible to cyber-attacks.

For the most part, donors and sponsors are likely to stop sponsoring or working with non-profits who do not have cybersecurity resilience plans. Therefore, non-profits must plan, prevent, and insure their organizations against cyber-attacks. The CSR-Hub project aims to build the capacity of CSOs in Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal, and to effectively respond to emerging and longstanding challenges to civic space and democratic governance in the region.

In conclusion, the CSR-Hub project will support grantee organizations in developing organizational and thematic competencies through capacity building, learning, and technical support to enhance relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency. The project has four strategic pillars of focus; Civic Space Protection, Governance and Regulatory Compliance, Digital Security and Protection, and Resource Mobilization and Financial Resilience. It is high time that CSOs in Ghana prioritized cybersecurity to prevent data loss, theft of intellectual property, financial and/or personal information, and damage to brand and reputation.

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