The COVID-19 pandemic and the imposed lockdown has led to more people being confined at home leading to the increase reliance on the internet to access services they normally obtain offline.
According to some observers in the financial sector, there has been an increase in cyber fraud in Ghana months after Ghana recorded its first case of COVID-19.
The danger of cybercrime have been in existence for several years but the anxiety and fear of the lockdown have provided opportunities for cybercriminals to take advantage of the situation and make money and create disruptions.
Eric Kwaku Mensah a cyber security expert at e-crime Bureau told Univers business news that businesses and institutions in the country to must engage in continuous vulnerability tests to detect loop holes in their operations.
“All institutions at this point in time should as a matter of urgency do vulnerability test on their systems so that all these holes can be patched. It is important that at this point in time all businesses including government organizations ought to take these tests to identify the loops holes within their systems” he said.
According to reports by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service, the country lost more than 200million dollars between 2016 and 2018 on reported cyber crime cases.
Security experts warn that the number is likely to increase due to how most businesses are moving online because of the pandemic.
Though Mr. Eric Mensah says the security agencies are doing their best to control the increase in the numbers, he explains that curbing the cyber fraud requires the procurement of more monitoring and tracing equipments that could help identify and bring to book individuals involved in fraudulent acts.
“Having enough monitoring systems in place to trace these criminals and put them behind bars is relative because Ghana’s system and other countries such as Israel, Singapore and US are not the same and in other to bring people behind bars, you need enough evidence and the capacity to trace them” he said.
He advised that businesses be vigilant about phishing emails, websites and avoid using the same password for multiple websites.