Cyber security experts convened in Nairobi for the 6th edition of the AfricaHackOn cyber security conference held on August 12th-16th in partnership with Safaricom, Microsoft, EKraal, USIU-Africa and She Hacks.
AfricaHackOn is becoming a leading venture in raising awareness on matters affecting cyber security and also grooming upcoming talent in the job market. The platform is poised to becoming a one stop shop for talent and resources in a field greatly short staffed.
Cyber security is a $ 45 billion industry globally which presents both opportunities and threats for organizations.
Microsoft estimates that by 2020, there will be 4 billion people online, 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet and data volumes will be 50 times greater than they were in 2016. The current workforce in the cyber security professionals will not be able to meet this demand if training in cyber security is not prioritized.
The World Economic Forum estimates that jobs for the next 50 years will be created in the digital space and institutions of higher learning should endeavor to train graduates in information, communication and technology.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Ruthie Rono echoed these sentiments by indicating the emerging trends in the job market will require skilled professionals in big data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, software engineering, and information security among others.
Serianu estimates the cost of cybercrime in Kenya to be USD 175 million in 2016, an increase from the USD 150 million reported in 2015. This glaring figure indicates that that most organizations are not treating cyber security as a serious threat and will most likely outsource this role to a service provider. Despite this, organizations such as Safaricom has invested in infrastructure and expertise that tackles cyber security threats.
Speaking at the event, Safaricom’s Head of Cyber Security, James Yogo noted that it was imperative for companies to have strategies to deal with cyber security threats.
“Through our program, Bug Bounty, we have employed a total of 30 white hat hackers to be able to detect any threat on our network. The trend of hiring ethical hackers is slowly catching on and gaining momentum as one of the ways to deal with the increasing threat of cyber security. Such programs address the growing technology advancements which in turn present advanced threats and infiltrations, “he said.
“Organizations must respond to threats by increasing their surveillance and increasing cybercrimes awareness programs that teach users how to detect these crimes,” he added.