Universities urged to invest in cybersecurity

By Iddi Yire

Accra, Sept 07, GNA – Professor Goski Alabi, the Consulting President, Laweh University College, has urged universities to invest in cybersecurity to protect their Information Technology (IT) systems from cyber-attacks. 

She said institutions of higher learning faced a constant deluge of cyberattacks, hence the need to put in place a robust system to combat such threats. 

Prof Alabi said this at the opening of a three-day training workshop in Data Protection and Cybersecurity in Accra. 

The workshop, organised by the Laweh University College, is being attended by 42 participants from the universities, corporate entities and state organisations. 

It seeks to build the capacity of participants in cybersecurity management and how to combat hacking of data. 

Prof Alabi said the problems of academic integrity and fraud were not only limited to Africa or Ghana but a global phenomenon. 

“And what we are saying more and more has to do with concerns over sextortion; that is sex for grades, but for some of us one of the biggest challenges that academic institutions are facing globally has to do with cybersecurity,” she said. 

“And I think it is important that we recognise this, because it affects academic integrity and also ushers in issues of academic fraud and a lot of risks and unreliability into the system.” 

Prof Alabi said there was the need for the universities to have a concerted and comprehensive approach towards addressing it. 

She advocated the continuous professional development of information technology as a requirement of every institution to train their IT and cybersecurity officers. 

“I am aware that we dwell a lot on information security, but it is time we started focusing more on building capacity for cybersecurity and cyber intelligence.” 

She urged universities to fortify their information systems to guard against academic fraud and cyber-attacks. 

Prof Alabi said the University had also been collaborating with Franklin University in building the capacity of its staff to protect their systems because they have had their fair share of attacks.  

She appealed to the Ministry of Education and the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training to ensure the implementation of the Recognition Prior Learning Policy to validate competence obtained outside the formal education and training systems for certification purposes. 

Mr Philip Debrah Danquah, the Acting Principal Consultant, e-Crime Bureau, who chaired the function, said reports and industry analyses had shown that despite the gains made, cyberattacks, fraud, phishing, data breaches and sophisticated hacks had resulted in demand for skills to detect, respond and prevent those breaches to improve business posture of institutions.