MTN Ghana Leads Conversation On Cybersecurity And Digital Transformation For SMEs

Panelists, Guest speaker Adwoa Asamoah and Officials from MTN and the Cyber Security Authority in a pose after the MTN business Breakfast meeting

The Senior Manager, Enterprise Information, Security and Governance at MTN, Jacqueline Hanson-Kotei has called on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to build the requisite capacity and resources to manage cybersecurity issues and challenges. She made the call at the second MTN Business Executive Breakfast series held in Accra last week.

Jacqueline Hanson- Kotei said, “most SMEs face cybersecurity issues and challenges because they do not have the requisite tools and resources. Risk assessment of the loopholes and vulnerabilities in a business and an understanding of regulatory requirements regarding your space can serve as a good foundation for mitigating this risk. It is also important to look at the people you work with i.e., your staff and third parties because their digital practices could pose a risk to your business.’

Organized under the theme, ‘Cybersecurity and Digital Transformation of SMEs,’ the forum presented the opportunity for key industry players and experts to discuss and share knowledge, exchange ideas, push for policy formulation and collaborate on cybersecurity and digital transformation for SMEs.

Ms. Adwoa Asamoah, Audit and Compliance Lead at the Ghana Cyber Security Authority, who delivered the keynote address on behalf of the Director General, commended MTN Ghana for leading the conversation on cybersecurity and digital transformation. “In today’s world of digital advancement, the world has become more connected than ever. While this presents incredible opportunities for growth and innovation, it also brings forth a pressing concern – the need to protect our citizens as well as SMEs from the dark side of the internet. SMEs are the backbone of the economy. The vital role SMEs play in job creation, innovation and economic growth cannot be overemphasized. She recommended that SMEs receive training in cybersecurity to equip them to identify and fight cyber-attacks.”

Ms. Asamoah also indicated that the government has initiated and established various mechanisms to address Ghana’s cybersecurity challenges. Key interventions are the enactment of the Cybersecurity Act 2020 (Act 1038) CSA, the licensing of cybersecurity service providers and accreditation of cyber security establishments and professionals in a bid to regulate services in accordance with approved standards and procedures.

Panelists who led the discussions at the forum were C.K. Bruce, CEO of Innovare Ghana, Jacqueline Hanson-Kotei, and Audrey Mnisi, Banking Ops, Risk and cybersecurity Specialist at Ghana

Association of Banks. Key areas of deliberations included key cybersecurity challenges that SMEs typically face in their digital transformation, how robust cybersecurity practices act as a catalyst for SME growth and competitiveness, as well as success stories of SMEs that have successfully leveraged cybersecurity to scale their businesses. Others included essential cybersecurity frameworks, guidelines and best practices SMEs should consider in their strategies, key data protection and cybersecurity regulations that they should be aware of and comply with among other pertinent discussions.

Panelists also recommended some solutions including the call for the enforcement of robust access controls to restrict unauthorized access to sensitive systems and data to reduce potential attacks and minimize the impact of a breach. They also called for the allocation of appropriate resources and all stakeholders should adhere to cyber security policies and practices.

In his remarks, the Chief Information Officer of MTN, Mr. Bernard Acquah, commended all the speakers for the insights shared and called for continuous conversations on cybersecurity to ensure that there is more awareness amongst various stakeholder groups.

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