COVID-19: MTN CIO urges Ghanaian IT experts to be vigilant about Cyber-criminals

The Chief Information Officer of MTN Ghana, Bernard Acquah has advised IT experts to update their system software and applications regularly to patch any weaknesses that may be exploited. 

According to him the fight against cyber security threats in 2020, calls for the vigilance of System administrators with regards to the timeliness of patch deployments and the quality of the patches they deploy.  

Speaking during a webinar session for members of the Ghana UK Chamber of Commerce on the theme: “The importance of Cyber Security during the COVID-19,” the MTN CIO stressed the need for organizations to be wary of risks introduced by Work-From-Home arrangements and internet connected home devices that blur the lines in enterprise security, insisting that everyone needs to be aware of Cyber-criminals and threat actors using machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to listen in on connected devices, such as smart TVs and speakers. 

Acquah explained that COVID-19 has presented attackers with an opportunity to spread malware through emails that feed on concerns about the disease, which include registration of new domain names containing wording related to coronavirus or COVID-19 and attacks against newly (and often rapidly) deployed remote access and teleworking infrastructure. 

“For example, since the beginning of the year 2020, more than 4,000 coronavirus related domains have been registered worldwide,” he said.

Acquah also encouraged internet users  to wash their hands after every physical contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and using an appropriate alcohol-based cleaning solution on their phone, keyboard, game controllers and remote controls. He explained how they should make it a point to take the time to review their digital hygiene habits. 

“Check that you have a long, complex router password for your home Wi-Fi and also ensure that system firewalls are active on your router,” Acquah said.  “You have to ensure you are not reusing passwords across the web (a password manager is a great investment). Also, invest and strengthen your Spam Filters and use a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN) for internet access wherever possible,” he added.

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