The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has taken a significant step towards bolstering cybersecurity by fostering the development of young cyber experts across the country. This initiative comes at a pivotal time as the government continues its digital transformation, allowing citizens to access government services online.
Speaking during the conclusion of the Boot Camp and Hackathon series in Eldoret, CA Director General Mr. Ezra Chiloba emphasized the importance of the program in enhancing cybersecurity awareness and preparedness among young talents. The week-long training aimed to equip these individuals with crucial skills in cybersecurity.
Mr. Chiloba highlighted that the program’s launch was strategically timed to coincide with the global observance of October as Cyber Security Awareness Month. The Boot Camp and Hackathon series provide a platform for young cybersecurity talents to compete, showcase their skills, and contribute innovative products and services in the realm of cybersecurity.
As the world continues its digital evolution, Chiloba stressed the necessity of building self-secure and resilient systems across various sectors. He emphasized that the program contributes to creating a foundation for young minds to engage in the field of cybersecurity, ensuring the safety and security of digital platforms that support essential services.
The initiative drew substantial interest, with 6,000 students applying to participate in the exercise this year. To ensure diverse participation, the program was regionalized across Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Mombasa.
Chiloba expressed optimism that the diverse projects developed by young cybersecurity experts would foster a competitive environment. The final awards ceremony is scheduled for October 16th in Naivasha, where innovative cybersecurity solutions from across the country will be recognized.
The director general underscored the importance of capacity building, focusing on imparting critical skills necessary for cybersecurity. He called on county governments to actively participate in the digital space and consider cybersecurity in their digitalization efforts.
Chiloba extended encouragement to various sectors, especially within the government, to integrate cybersecurity professionals into digital programs to ensure long-term security. He acknowledged Kenya’s vulnerability to cyber threats, revealing that the country had encountered 440 million cyberattacks by mid-year.
Acknowledging the challenge, Chiloba emphasized the necessity of continuous monitoring, issuing advisories, and collaborating with key stakeholders to mitigate the negative impact of cyber threats. The National Computer Incident Response Team, a multi-agency initiative led by the CA, has been instrumental in identifying risks and issuing advisories.
Drawing from the experiences with the E-citizen platform, Chiloba highlighted the government’s resilience in addressing cybersecurity concerns promptly.
The event was attended by key figures in the cybersecurity sector, including Mr. Etiko Omungu from CA’s Western Regional Office, Mr. Fredrick Wahome from Kenya Cyber Security and Forensics Association (KCSFA), Dr. Vincent Ngundi, Acting Director of Cybersecurity at CA, and Mr. Adam Lane from Huawei, among others.