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Workshop on cybersecurity for February 24

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Prof Godfried Williams, CEO, Intellas
Prof Godfried Williams, CEO, Intellas

Senior executives from firms in various sectors of the economy will on February 24 converge in Accra for the maiden edition of the Cybersecurity Boardroom Series.

On the theme ‘The Cyberspace. How prepared is your organization?’ the workshop is expected to build the competencies of organisations to guard against cyber-attacks.

It is an initiative of Intellas, an IBM Business Partner and go-to company that specialises in the application of artificial intelligence to cyber security, digital forensics and big data analytics.

Board level responsibility

Speaking in an interview in Accra on February 23 ahead of the workshop, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Intellas and Lead Facilitator of the workshop, Prof Godfried Williams, said cybersecurity was a board level responsibility that requires the leadership and oversight of senior executives in any organisation.

He said it was for this reason that Intellas was providing participating executives with board level tools that were critical to mitigate against cybersecurity threats, risks and attacks.

He stated that this workshop was the first in a series of workshops to be organised in Ghana and Africa especially in these times when cybersecurity has become a topical issue in most boardrooms, however, senior executives find themselves not adequately equipped to provide the necessary leadership on cybersecurity matters.

He said the workshop will focus on topics such as cyber security laws, rules and regulations, controls, standards, policy under what has been described as compliance in the cyber security framework.

“Understanding the issues and taking steps to implement them will ensure that systems are well secured and with that, senior executives have a major role to play.

“And so, the purpose of the workshop is to encourage inclusivity among senior executives in an organization,” he said.

He said the workshop would be held twice a year to educate more senior executives on risks and threats faced by most organisations every day.

“Ghanaian businesses are trailblazers and senior executives’ appreciation of cybersecurity threats in their companies and how to adequately mitigate them will pave the way for opportunistic investments and collaborations as it shores up its investor confidence and reputation,” he said.

New narrative

According to him, the workshop is to promote a new narrative that will enable senior executives to have a better understanding of cyber security.

“When cyber security is mentioned there is so much emphasis on the technology aspect of cyber security.

“This workshop is designed to drive a new narrative to enable senior executives to have a better understanding of cyber security.

“This means that cyber security should not be seen as a technological issue but rather as an organisational issue and therefore senior management should have the oversight and that is why it has been termed Cybersecurity Boardroom Series,” he said.

Emerging cyber risks

According to him, regulatory requirements and compliance obligations enacted by law or international standards call for the urgent need for senior executives to be equipped in providing the leadership and capabilities essential for responding robustly and efficiently to emerging cyber risks, threats and attacks.

“These threats may comprise Ransomeware, Espionage, Data breach, Privacy violations and Intellectual Property theft, among others, leading to reputational damage, breach of trust and significant financial losses.”