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30.10.2019 Feature Article

Should Ghana Avoid Private Cybersecurity Companies - And Secure Itself With Collaborations Between Ghanaian And Estonian Public-Sector Cybersecurity Agencies?

Should Ghana Avoid Private Cybersecurity Companies - And Secure Itself With Collaborations Between Ghanaian And Estonian Public-Sector  Cybersecurity Agencies?
OCT 30, 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

For those in Ghana who justly worry about securing their online presence, the story of the rise and fall of Tiversa, the U.S. cybersecurity company, ought to be a cautionary tale (The New Yorker, by Raffi Khatchadourian: A Cybersecurity Firm’s Sharp Rise and Stunning Collapse).

Clearly, the global cybersecurity industry has morality challenges that make countries such as Ghana vulnerable to making unnecessary payments for manufactured threats from cybercriminals.

In light of the fact that Knoll apparently bought part of Tiversa's digital assets, the question the Ghanaian media ought to ponder over is: Was the money the Auditor General says was unjustly paid to Kroll for zilch work, by the Office of the Senior Minister, for cybersecurity consultancy services? If yes, what exactly was it for - and would a technical agreement between Ghana and Estonia, have enabled us obtain the same cybersecurity consultancy services at more or less zero cost?

According to some of the public officials in charge of Ghana's cybersecurity, the Ghanaian nation-state apparently needs US $100 million to secure the e-governance architecture and ecosystem. Is that an inflated figure? As a people, we would be wise to be wary of foreign cybersecurity companies' valuations for consultancy services.

One's humble advice to our leaders is that it is much, much better to collaborate with Estonian public-sector agencies to protect the enterprise Ghana online, than deal with profit-seeking companies, such as Kroll, which has part of Tiversa's digital DNA in its makeup, after all, no matter how respectable it might outwardly appear to be. Caution ought to be our watchword in dealing with all profit-seeking cybersecurity companies. Full stop.

Collaboration between Ghana and the Estonian nation-state on cybersecurity will be more effective and more or less cost-free technical assistance, from a friendly and well-meaning global e-governance superpower. In other words, we might be better off avoiding private cybersecurity companies and resort instead to collaborations between Ghanaian and Estonian public-sector cybersecurity agencies, to protect the enterprise Ghana's online presence. Hmmmm. Yooooo. Oman Ghana - eyeasem ooooo. Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa!

Kofi Thompson
Kofi Thompson, © 2019

This author has authored 455 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KofiThompson

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