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CA Director General Mr. Ezra Chiloba (centre) with participants after launching the hackathon and bootcamp series ahead of the October Cyber Security Awareness Month.

CA Unveils Bootcamp and Hackathon Series Ahead of October Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The Communmications Authority of Kenya (CA) has launched a Hackathon and Bootcamp series as part of activities in the lead up to this year’s October Cybersecurity Awareness Month (OCSAM).

The two events to be executed in collaboration with Huawei Kenya and the Kenya Cybersecurity Forensics Association will take places in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nyeri and Eldoret.

Over 6,000 students have signed up for online training and the top 100 from each of five regions will attend the regional finals that will be held in conjunction with partner universities in the regions.

The top hackathon and bootcamp teams from each regional final will then travel to Mombasa for the National Final that will take place as part of the National Cyber Security Conference in October. The boot camp covers a Huawei Certification e-learning Course on Cyber Security, virtual lab exercises and mentorship from cyber security experts geared at preparing participants for a successful career in cybersecurity.

It is envisaged that through these capacity building sessions, the Authority will contribute towards building a pool of cyber security professionals who can meaningfully participate in addressing pressing challenges in the rapidly changing ICT sector. ‘

‘We believe that through this approach, we shall equip the students with new skills which will make them fit to productively participate in efforts to safeguard critical information infrastructure across various sectors that they may land in,’’ said CA Director General Mr. Ezra Chiloba.

The DG observed that the emergence of new threats and malign actors who are constantly perfecting their strategies, called for adoption of new strategies and skills to confront new challenges in the cyber security space. ‘‘Beyond investing in state-of-the-art systems that facilitate detection, prevention and response to various cyber threats targeted at the country, we are keen in building a critical mass of professionals equipped with the necessary technical skills,’’ he said.

The DG added that the Authority is eying broader goal of guiding and enabling an ethical community of practice within the cyber space through mentorship programmes which will see students paired with experienced professionals and industry leaders.

Through the hackathon and bootcamp, the Authority will be holding two (2) day hands-on capacity building workshops across the five regions following result of requests from tertiary institutions for support in enhancing their cybersecurity learning modules.

Cyber-attacks targeting the country have been increasing over the years from a low of 7.7 million in 2018 to a high 444 million in 2023 making Kenya among the top three most targeted countries in the region, alongside South Africa and Nigeria.

The Authority has sustained awareness among various stakeholders to enable users stay safe online and for institutions to continuously adopt best practices in safeguarding their critical information infrastructure and resources.