CommunicationsAuthority of Kenya (CA) has recognized 43 students from 10 universities for exceptional skills at the Cyber Security Hackathon held at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.
The winners were selected through rigorous judging criteria dubbed ‘Capture the flag’ challenge, a cyber-security competition where participants solved computer security problems by hacking into or defending computer systems.
The challenge was in two categories; ethical hacking and digital forensics. In the ethical hacking category, Strathmore University emerged winners followed by KCA University and Meru University of Science and Technology. In the digital forensics category, The University of Nairobi was declared the best , while Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology took the second position.
Participants were also drawn the Presidential Digital Talent Programme, Kisii University, Kenyatta University, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology and the Technical University of Mombasa.
CA acting director general Ms. Mercy Wanjau said the authority is undertaking various cyber security initiatives in order to build capacity amongst Kenyans on this subject – the hackathon included.
“The initiative has provided a great forum for interaction and knowledge exchange amongst cyber security enthusiasts in academia and the industry” noted Ms. Wanjau. “As an authority, we are happy that through it, we have adequately sparked conversations on cyber security and hopefully more and more Kenyans will be alert as they engage on their favourite platforms,” she added.
Kenyans are increasingly at risk of cyber security threats due to the high internet and smart phone penetration rate in the country. From April to June this year, the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team – Coordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC) detected 26.6 million cyber threat events as compared to 11.3 million cyber threat events detected from January to March.The increase in cyber threat is attributed to the global rise in malware.
The Hackathon was held on the sidelines of the 2019 National Cyber Security Conference whose goal was to enhance skills sets in the provision of cyber solutions and problem solving skills in the online space. CA is mandated to coordinate response and manage cyber security incidents in Kenya.