A digital forensics laboratory has been inaugurated at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi to offer postgraduate courses in forensic science and upgrade the skills of investigators and personnel of the security agencies.
The laboratory, which was put up by the KNUST and E-Crime Bureau, a private IT company, will also be used in the retrieval of digital evidence in disputed transactions, meeting disclosure requirements in civil claims and supporting insurance claims when a loss occurred.
It would also serve as training ground for personnel of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), the Narcotics Control Board (NCB) and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and also provide internship for students.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Kumasi yesterday, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, stressed the need for all institutions such as banks, insurance companies and other companies with e-platforms to have well-trained IT personnel in forensics to help them detect threats posed by cybercrimes.
“We have come to a point of appreciating the reality of the cybercrime landscape to make a frantic effort to invest in technology to guarantee the security we all desire,” he said.
He said cybercrimes had affected all sectors of the economy, resulting in monetary losses and reputational damage to institutions that relied on some form of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as part of their day-to-day operations.
Mr Asante-Apeatu said the growth of the ICT sub-sector, including the introduction of e-payment platforms and products, cashless systems, mobile money, e-learning, among others, “has led to a significant rise in cyber-related threats”.
He said the emergence of IT-facilitated crimes had also become one of the many challenges confronting the adjudication of criminal offences, especially with regard to presenting satisfactory evidence in the court of law to ensure successful criminal prosecution.
The IGP, therefore, welcomed the establishment of the laboratory to provide practical training for students, as well as support criminal investigations and the retrieval of digital evidence in resolving cases.
“This laboratory enables capacity building of our human resource, within both public and private sector institutions, government agencies, telecommunications, insurance, oil and gas and financial institutions. This is urgently required, considering the unavailability of the requisite skill-set needed to address these cyber security and forensic challenges,” he stated.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Chief Executive Officer of E-Crime Bureau, Mr Albert Antwi-Boasiako, noted that the laboratory would bring relief to the university authorities who, hitherto, had to travel to the offices of E-Crime Bureau in Accra to undertake their practical and hands-on sessions.
“We believe that this digital forensic laboratory has come at an opportune time to support students and professionals from both public and private sector institutions. This facility will make it possible to build knowledge and technical expertise in cyber security and digital forensics to address the complexities in conducting digital evidence investigations,” he said.
The laboratory, he noted, would provide industry players and stakeholders, including the banks, educational institutions, security and law enforcement agencies and insurance, oil and gas companies, with the hands-on skills to back the theory that would be taught.
The Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, Prof. Kwasi Obiri Danso, said the laboratory would help in the training of the manpower needed to fight cybercrimes and other IT-related crimes in the country.
Source: Daily Graphic
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