In an effort to combat the escalating cyber threats faced by Kenyan businesses and institutions, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), Huawei, and the Kenya Cybersecurity and Forensics Association have joined forces to launch a comprehensive cybersecurity bootcamp and hackathon. This collaborative initiative aims to equip students and professionals with the essential skills and knowledge needed to ensure robust network and information security in an increasingly digital world.
Nationwide Cybersecurity Bootcamp:
The official launch of the cybersecurity bootcamp and hackathon took place in Nairobi, with plans to extend the events to various towns across Kenya, including Kisumu, Mombasa, Nyeri, and Eldoret. With over 6,000 students already registered for online training, the top 100 participants from each of the five regions will have the opportunity to compete in the highly anticipated regional finals. These finals will be conducted in partnership with renowned universities in Nairobi, Nyeri, Eldoret, Kisumu, and Mombasa.
The bootcamp, designed as an intensive training program conducted over a short period, encompasses the Huawei Certification e-learning Course on Cyber Security, virtual lab exercises, and mentorship from distinguished experts in the field. This comprehensive training aims to equip participants with the necessary skills and expertise required for successful careers in cybersecurity. Notably, last year’s program yielded impressive results, with many students securing employment in various sectors, underscoring the effectiveness of such initiatives in bridging the existing skills gap in the cybersecurity sector.
Addressing the Growing Threats
As businesses and institutions rapidly embrace digitization, the frequency and severity of cyber threats have seen a significant upsurge. Consequently, there is an urgent need for skilled cybersecurity professionals. Recognizing the critical importance of ensuring the safety of technology users, businesses, and institutions, this collaborative effort aims to provide platforms that nurture and enhance the abilities of individuals with a keen interest and talent in the cybersecurity field.
Mr. Chiloba, Directory General Communications Authority, highlighted the urgency of addressing the mounting cybersecurity concerns. The Director-General says statistics reveal that in 2018, Kenya faced 7.7 million cyber-attacks. Shockingly, by 2023, this number skyrocketed to a staggering 444 million, placing Kenya among the top three most targeted countries in the region, alongside South Africa and Nigeria.
Aligned with its mandate as the ICT sector regulator, the Communications Authority remains committed to investing in initiatives that bolster national cybersecurity. The agency aims to establish a solid foundation to support the government’s digital transformation agenda while safeguarding the nation’s digital infrastructure.
This cybersecurity bootcamp and hackathon are part of the Technical Cooperation Agreement signed between the partnering organizations in 2022, further underscoring their dedication to collaboratively tackle the cybersecurity challenges faced by Kenya. The National KE-CIRT, operated by the Communications Authority, maintains its vigilant stance in detecting and responding to attempted cyber-attacks on systems within the country. The authority also urges all stakeholders to remain vigilant and regularly provides alerts and advisories on the state of cybersecurity.
The top teams from the hackathon and bootcamp regional finals will converge in Mombasa for the highly anticipated National Final, coinciding with the October Cyber Security Awareness Month (OCSAM) conference. This prestigious event provides a platform for participants to showcase their expertise and knowledge in the cybersecurity domain.