Communication Authority, Huawei partner to scale up cyber security skills in Kenya

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With cyber security gaining prominence as a key skill area, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and Huawei have moved to fill the gap by training more young people as part of activities to mark the national cybersecurity awareness month marked every October.

The two organizations announced today in a statement that they have set up a special cyber security boot camp for students attending institutions of higher learning across the country. The bootcamp has attracted more than 1,700 university students across the country. The partnership targets to build capacity amongst technology students to ensure secure networks and cyberspace.

Kenya has just under 2,000 certified cyber security professionals against an annual demand of 10,000 experts.   

Ezra Chiloba, Director-General of the CA, stated that, “The future of Kenya’s economy is going to be driven by the digital space and cyber security is critical. We are working with Huawei, who are bringing on board their expansive experience in this sector, and I want to encourage young people who are undertaking courses and are looking forward to participate in the digital economy to invest their time and resources in understanding the future of cyber security.”

The three- day intensive training session is set to run from October 17th to 19th 2022 and is one of the highlights of the month-long celebrations and educational activities designed to build the country’s cyber security capacity and cyber-risk preparedness.

It comes on the back of the recent launch of a new National Cybersecurity Strategy 2022 by the National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee (NC4). A key goal of the strategy is to build national cyber security capacity, including developing more local specialized expertise.

The boot camp includes a Huawei Certification e-learning course on cyber security, virtual lab exercises, on-site training and mentorship from experts within the field. These jointly structured sessions and courses are geared at preparing participants for a successful career in cybersecurity and form an initiative is also one of the activities under the Technical Cooperation Agreement signed by CA and Huawei earlier in the year.

Echoing the CA DG’s remarks, Will Meng, CEO of Huawei Kenya noted that: “For over 20 years in Kenya, Huawei has helped build secure networks across the country that have brought economic growth, and we are pleased to work with the CA to provide training to students to enhance their capacity to operate networks and systems securely, and to be safe online”

With new technologies and innovations on the rise, the world is becoming more technologically dependent, and cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and developing threat to sensitive data. Data from the cybersecurity strategy shows that Kenya has been registering an increasing number of cyber-attacks which crossed the 148 million-mark in 2021. Utilizing the expertise of the Communications Authority of Kenya and Huawei provides participants with the latest up-to-date knowledge alongside practical activities to hone their skills.

For businesses and learning institutions to gain the skills and knowledge to ensure network and information security, it is important to grow the quality and quantity of current and future workers skilled in cyber security.

Over the years, experts in this space have come up with measures to deal with this problem, with the new and better encryptions, most systems, networks and programs have become less susceptible to cyberattacks. However, cyberattacks are not completely eradicated, instead they are on the rise and are becoming more complex and sophisticated. Various studies have shown that small businesses, financial institutions, government agencies, healthcare, energy and utilities are just but a few of the main industries targeted for cyber-attacks.

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