BY PHILIP ANTOH
THE FOUNDATION of Generational Thinkers (FOGET) has revealed that a number of online portals and websites in the country, including state agencies, risk hacking.
The various web portals and sites lack adequate protective security features, hence vulnerable to hackers.
A statement issued over the weekend by FOGET, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that focuses on youth empowerment, trumpeted the dangers and effects of poor security on these sites.
A research conducted by the NGO indicates that websites owned by the government ministries, departments and agencies are the most vulnerable.
FOGET, however, mentioned the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ministry of Finance and Ministry Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MFARI) as well as some other state institutions as having robust and secured websites.
The NGO commended them for taking measures to secure and safeguard their websites, considering the sensitive data they have captured and working with.
These state departments handle a lot of sensitive data that are essential and affect all aspects of socio-economic development of the country.
“It is worth mentioning that these listed ministries and organizations are responsible for managing the pension funds, collecting taxes and overseeing Ghana’s foreign relations, and so need to be accorded praise,” the NGO said.
The President and founder of FOGET, Mr Prosper Dan Afetsi, said, “Even the banks cannot be exonerated when it comes to website security as dozens of them are not beyond the reach of hackers.”
According to him, majority of the financial intuitions do not have secured websites while NGOs operating are the worse victims, when it comes to online security threats and hacking.
“With what our research has revealed, we are sounding the alarm to all who own or operate websites to be aware that they stand a big risk of their services being disrupted and their funds stolen as they have left the doors to the heart of their operations wide open.
“This will definitely affect their operations negatively if they do not wake up with a sense of urgency, to have it addressed,” Mr Afetsi stated.
He said the agencies and organisations, especially the financial institutions, must know that they hold the future of their clients and the nation as well and so must take steps to get it solved.
Furthermore, all Ghanaians need to be educated on the importance of secured website and what to look out for whenever they visit a site, particularly in this era where banking transactions can performed online.
Mr Afetsi called on all website and portal administrators and owners were advised to make security of their websites a priority when building and launching them.