National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2021
The Sherrif Security Indicator (TSSI) is an annual online survey that is organized to commemorate Cyber Security Awareness Month. TSSI researches the most critical security issues that confront residents of Ghana. It achieves this objective by asking respondents to indicate their greatest and least security concerns from a list of 8 security threats: disaster/epidemic, inability to meet financial obligations, identity theft, national security, online transactions, payment card fraud, personal safety, and hacking/computer viruses.
This year’s survey, which happens to be the second edition, is termed “The Sherrif Security Indicator v2.21”.
This year’s survey was conducted using Google forms, which were shared with residents of Ghana via WhatsApp and email. The form was configured to ensure only one form could be completed by each respondent.
The survey was conducted for 5 weeks; from 14th September 2021 to 20th October 2021. Out of the approximately 1,400 persons targeted for this study, 306 responses were received.
The respondents were asked the following 5 questions:
- What is your gender?
- What is your age range?
- What is your highest level of education?
- Which of the factors below is of greatest concern to you?
- Which of the factors below is of least concern to you?
The results from the survey were analyzed using statistical software.
This section provides the responses received from the 306 respondents.
Out of the 306 respondents, 85% were males whilst 15% were females. This is shown in figure 1 below. The majority of the respondents were between the ages of 31-35. Figure 2 provides the detailed age distribution of the respondents.
The majority of the respondents (93%) had tertiary education. Figure 3 provides the detailed educational qualifications of the respondents. Figure 4 provides responses to question 4, whilst figure 5 provides responses to question 5.
Although different analysis can be drawn from the data, this article is focused on a few of them.
The findings indicate that the respondents’ inability to meet their financial obligations is their greatest security concern, followed by their personal safety and security in Ghana.
Identity theft is of least concern to them, followed by hacking/computer virus and inability to meet their financial obligations. It is therefore evident that information/cyber security concerns are of least concern to the respondents.
It is, however, intriguing to note that the greatest security concern also turns out to be the 3rd least security concern to the respondents.
Due to the medium used to administer the survey, the views of persons without smartphones and computers could not be solicited. Also, it was extremely difficult getting people to respond to this survey; as evident in the number of target responders vis-à-vis the actual responders.
Due to the small sample size, the findings cannot be easily generalized for all residents of Ghana. To overcome these constraints, I welcome any logistical support to reach out to more respondents in the subsequent surveys.
The findings from this edition of TSSI (v2.21) are somewhat consistent with the findings of the earlier edition (TSSI v.1.20). In TSSI v.1.20, personal safety was the second greatest security concern to the respondents, whilst identity theft and hacking/computer virus were among the least 3 security concerns.
Juxtaposing the findings of the 2 reports brings to bear issues of not prioritizing information/cyber security concerns. It is worthy to note that, the impact of identity theft and hacking may be more colossal and lethal than the impact of personal safety and inability to fulfill financial obligations.
The Cyber Security Authority, professional organizations, information security professionals, and other stakeholders in the information security ecosystem in Ghana, need to up our game to educate the general public on the importance of information security and the devastating effects of security breaches on the individual and the state.
I am most grateful to all those who supported and responded to this survey. I hope to receive your supports in the subsequent editions of TSSI.
Cyber Security Manager, Deloitte Ghana | Director of Communications, IIPGH
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