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Winners of the Cyber Security Bootcamp organized by CA, Huawei, Safaricom and Swahili Pot announced.

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The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), Huawei, SwahiliPot Hub and Safaricom have announced the 3 (three) winning teams from over 200 students who participated in the Cyber Security Bootcamp as part of the Pwani Innovation Week. The awards ceremony was officiated by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Hon. Joe Mucheru, EGH, supported by Huawei Deputy CEO Ms. Fiona Pan, Swahili Pot Hub Founder Mr. Mahmoud Noor, and Communications Authority Assistant Director Mr. Peter Ngige.

 As technology evolves and the world grows more technologically dependent, so are cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated and prevalent. These increased cyber attacks come against a backdrop of cybersecurity capacity gaps, not just locally, but globally. It is with this in mind that the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), Huawei, SwahiliPot Hub and Safaricom came together to develop and host a cybersecurity boot camp, with the first series of the boot camp held in the Coast Region during the Pwani Innovation Week.

The boot camp is an initiative to address the growing need for a skilled cyber security workforce within the country and beyond. The cybersecurity bootcamp is designed with the goal of providing participants with the latest knowledge, skills and experiences to prepare them for a career in cybersecurity. This comes against the background of accelerated digital transformation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which laid bare the existing vulnerabilities within organizations for cyber-attacks. Additionally, the increase in digital adoption and the correlated increase in exposure to cyber risks calls for greater focus on cyber security.

The recently concluded bootcamp targeted students within the coast region, and was delivered in three phases over a two-week duration. Phase I was an online self-paced learning on the Huawei ICT Academy portal. Participants to the next phase were shortlisted based on their performance on the online exam. Phase II was instructor led lab work on enterprise security using a simulated platform (eNSP), which was conducted in teams. Phase III was a Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) Emergency Response Simulation Exercise.

Speaking during the launch of the boot camp, Dr. Gilbert Mugeni representing the Director-General CA, Mr. Ezra Chiloba said: “Safeguarding of our digital space requires adequate cybersecurity capacity. The CA is cognizant that cybersecurity capacity remains a major gap, not just locally, but internationally. We are therefore committed to working with stakeholders both locally and internationally, in developing local cybersecurity capacity to power and safeguard our cyber space.”

Cybersecurity skills gap has been identified as one of the main issues plaguing the ICT industry, with Mr. Mahmoud Noor from Swahili Pot saying: “Data is the new oil of the digital economy and its protection has become even more critical. To mitigate cyberattacks the youth must be educated on Cybersecurity

“The boot camp has not only equipped us with up-to-date know-how on how to recognize and mitigate a cyber-threats but also laid a foundation allowing us to kick start a career in cybersecurity”. Noted Ayub Mohamed.

 “The boot camp was timely especially at a time when more and more of our life and business operations take place online, and thus being secure and safe online is ever more important.” Stated Ms. Fiona Pan. “It is important to grow the quality and quantity of current and future workers skilled in cyber security. This will not only help businesses and but also learning institutions have the skills and knowledge to ensure security within their networks and systems.” She added.