A Ghanaian company, Virtual InfoSec Africa (VIA), has successfully built Africa’s first financial industry command security operations centre (FICSOC) for the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia commissioned the FICSOC for the BoG on May 24, 2023, as the country’s best bet for dealing with cybersecurity threats in the financial sector. Following its operationalisation, the FICSOC now serves as Ghana’s threat intelligence centre against cyber threats by supporting financial institutions and their operations against the growing menace of cyber attackers.
At the commissioning, the Vice-President praised Virtual InfoSec Africa for living up to the task and inspiring the “I can do it” spirit in Ghanaians and indigenous businesses in general. “For the most part, usually we do not believe in the ability and capacity of our own firms and people to lead the continent in areas such as digital technology.
“But what BoG and Virtual InfoSec Africa have done tells us that we have to eschew the mindset of impossibility, and believe that it is possible for us to lead the continent and even the world in many areas,” Dr Bawumia said.
The Governor of BoG, Dr. Ernest Addison, also commended Virtual InfoSec Africa as implementation partner of the FICSOC for its commitment and diligence in achieving success in the project.
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VIA, Emmanuel Sekyere-Asiedu, said in an interview that his company was proud to have built the command centre for the central bank.
Mr Sekyere-Asiedu said the project’s successful commissioning was a stepping-stone for the company when it comes to conquering the world with its solutions. “It is a proud moment for us, but it also places more responsibility on our shoulders. Our focus is not only Ghana. Indeed, our vision is beyond the shores of Ghana but it is always good to start from home, and we are excited and also humbled that BoG believed in us and gave us the opportunity with this task,” he said.
Mr. Sekyere-Asiedu said the commendations are humbling for the team. Founded some 15 years ago, VIA specialises in information security and cybersecurity solutions and services; and over the years has developed a reputation for being one of the topmost innovative solutions designers and providers of information security and cybersecurity services on the continent.
He said designing, equipping and implementing all the FICSOC solutions for the BoG and seeing the product go live was exciting for him and the team. “We always knew we could do it, but seeing it commissioned is not only a testament of our ability and expertise as a company from Ghana but also an inspiration to us and other Ghanaian businesses that we can do world-class projects right from this country,” Mr Sekyere-Asiedu said.
He is hopeful that the FICSOC project’s commissioning will help open doors for similar contracts from central banks in Africa. He said over the years Ghana has proven to be a source of quality and world-class expertise, and the FICSOC project is another evidence.
“As the Vice-President rightly said, the partnership’s success with the central bank tells us that we should believe in ourselves and Ghanaian firms in particular – as it is possible for us to lead the continent and even the world in many areas, including technology and cybersecurity,” Mr. Sekyere-Asiedu said.
The CEO also commended the FICSOC project team from the BoG for their support and cooperation, describing it as a privilege working with such an outstanding group. He further thanked the staff of his company for their teamwork, which he said has put Ghana on the world map.
“I want to thank my team – especially Daniel Lamptey, Bondzie Acquah, Daniel Affum, George Armah, Maame Yaa and everyone – for their dedication and sacrifices. I am also grateful to the other Ghanaian companies – Ostec, Apotica, Databytes and others – that were part of the project. It was a strategic decision to work and deliver this project for the central bank and our country using Ghanaian expertise and companies, and we have delivered. We must be proud and believe in our capabilities,” Mr. Sekyere-Asiedu said.
The FICSOC has been established as a threat intelligence sharing platform, fully-funded by the BoG to coordinate cybersecurity efforts within the banking and financial industry. With all banks in the country connected to it, the command centre is to support financial sector players build cyber security resilience against cyber and information security threats.