As Ghanaian Government websites are hacked, we ask: are emerging economies at greater risk?

Citi FM Online reports that the Government of Ghana’s website, www.ghana.gov.gh, has been hacked, in addition to several other crucial agency websites. Deputy Minister of Communications Ato Sarpong confirmed the hack today.

It appears that the website has been hacked by Alsancak Tim of Efeler Special Operations, a suspected Turkish operative.  The motive of the attack is not yet clear, but the message posted by the hacker included political and religious statements.

With a growing focus on big data, e-government and improved service delivery, governments in developing economies are at a much greater risk of being incapacitated due to cyber risks than their counterparts in wealthier economies, which have bigger security budgets and stronger information security expertise.

Information security

Effective information security has become a critical element of organisational resilience and sustainability, and without the appropriate resources and technical expertise, denial-of-service attacks can cause major business disruption, not to mention the disclosure of its citizens’ sensitive and personal data to criminals.

It’s not only government agencies that are at risk, but critical infrastructure such as electricity and other utilities providers  are also often targeted. Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure are an increasing threat across the globe, according to Kaspersky Lab.  An attack on the power grid can be uniquely destructive since the majority of the economy would cease to function without it.

McAfee has predicted that small nations and terror groups will become even more active and will “attack by launching crippling distributed denial of service attacks or using malware that wipes the master boot record to destroy their enemies’ networks”.

Apart from the Government of Ghana, other critical websites that have been hacked include the Ministry of Communication, Scholarships Secretariat, the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, the Ghana Navy, National Service Scheme and the School Feeding Programme.

At the time of publishing, the websites in question were all still down.

ISO 27001

ISO 27001 is the comprehensive information security standard that describes best practice for an information security management system (ISMS). Accredited certification to ISO 27001 demonstrates that an organisation is following international information security best practices.

IT Governance has developed a specially formulated combination of essential tools and resources you need to get started with an ISO27001 project, even if you have no prior experience of ISO27001 at all.

The ISO 27001 Get A Lot Of Help package enables you to be guided by an ISO27001 implementation specialist throughout the entire project, without the associated expenses of hiring a consultant to do all the work. This unique approach to ISO27001 implementation empowers organisations to quickly and cost-effectively assimilate and deploy critical knowledge in a way that enables them to achieve certification and to maintain it in future, all at a cost-effective, fixed price

The Get A Lot of Help package combines the core ISO27001 standards and implementation guidance with key implementation tools, attendance at our live, online masterclasses, and our unique online Mentor and Coach consultancy service.

Contact IT Governance today to request a brochure or to discuss your implementation needs with one of our advisors on +44 845 070 1750.

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