In a bid to fortify its cybersecurity landscape, Ghana has raised the drawbridge, barring entry to Cybersecurity Service Providers (CSPs), Cybersecurity Establishments (CEs), and Cybersecurity Professionals (CPs) without the proper license or accreditation. This bold move, effective from January 1, 2024, comes on the heels of a deadline issued by the Cybersecurity Authority on December 31, 2023.
The Cybersecurity Authority’s Decree: No License, No Entry
The Cybersecurity Authority (CSA) issued a stern warning, affirming its commitment to enforcing the provisions of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038). According to the CSA, CSPs, CEs, and CPs operating without a proper license or accreditation granted by the Authority will face the full weight of the law. This includes the possibility of criminal prosecutions and administrative penalties.
CSA’s Directive: Engage Only the Licensed Guardians
The Authority, in a statement released on Wednesday, urged institutions and individuals to engage only with licensed CSPs and accredited CEs and CPs. This directive aims to ensure that cybersecurity services in Ghana adhere to the standards set forth in Act 1038.
Behind the Numbers: A Surge in Applications
As of October 2023, the CSA reported a robust response to its licensing and accreditation process. A total of 907 requests were received, demonstrating a keen interest in complying with the cybersecurity regulations. The breakdown includes 134 institutions seeking licenses as CSPs, 41 aspiring to be accredited as CEs, and a significant 732 individuals vying for accreditation as CPs.
Background: The March Toward Cybersecurity Sanity
The CSA initiated the license and accreditation process on March 1, 2023, aligning with its mandate to bring order to the cybersecurity sector. The initial deadline set for cybersecurity service providers, establishments, and professionals to secure the required licenses and accreditations was September 30, 2023.
A Call for Participation: Director-General’s Plea
It’s worth noting that the Director-General of CSA, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, had previously called for an extension of the deadline. This plea aimed to encourage more participation, considering the impressive number of applications received. However, with the deadline firmly in place, the CSA signals its unwavering commitment to raising the bar for cybersecurity standards in Ghana.
As Ghana fortifies its cyber defenses, the mandate for licensing and accreditation stands as a pivotal step towards ensuring a secure digital environment. The CSA’s resolute stance emphasizes the nation’s dedication to cybersecurity best practices and the protection of its digital infrastructure.