Wednesday, 02 September 2020: On Friday, Africa played host to the most content-rich virtual conference on Cybersecurity by convening over 200 online participants that included government authorities, policymakers and the region’s leading CISOs and Cybersecurity experts. The summit was put together to raise awareness on the Socio-technical aspects of Cybersecurity and the importance of using emerging technologies in the fight against cybercrime in the region.
The conference was hosted on the newly launched virtual events platform, Vmeets that provided an immersive digital environment for active solution architects and experts in the Cybersecurity realm to network and showcase the latest products to tackle cyber threats. The virtual conference featured powerful keynotes, exciting panel discussions and technology use cases from leading voices in Cybersecurity.
Highlights and key takeaways from the summit
- Richard M. Kiarie, Principal ICT Officer/Head, Policy and Research Unit for the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Republic of Kenya, gave an overview of the Kenyan Government’s national strategy to secure cyberspace in the region. He said, “The government has recognized the need to continuously review and implement the Cybersecurity strategy and also the need to develop relevant legislation to achieve the Cybersecurity objectives.” He added, “The national ICT policy was reviewed and gazetted this year. One of the provisions of the ICT policy is to recognize Cybersecurity as a key pillar of national security.”
- The summit also featured a government panel discussion on the topic ‘National Cyber Defence Strategy: African approach’. Speakers on the panel observed various multi-sectoral Cybersecurity threats and trends seen from their individual countries, and the coordinated efforts from governments to mitigate threats. “In Uganda, we have a close collaboration between the public and private sectors,” said Peter Kahiigi, Director for e-Government Services, Government of Uganda. He further stated, “We have fused into a group called the National Information Security Advisory Group (NISAG) which consists of specialized people from different disciplines to advise the government on current threats in Uganda’s cyberspace.”
- Anna Collard, SVP of Content Strategy & Evangelist at KnowBe4 Africa, South Africa, delivered a tech talk on the ‘Changing Security Cultures in an African Context’. KnowBe4 is the world’s largest integrated platform for security awareness training.
- The summit also included other insightful sessions from Themba Mnguni, Deputy Director, IT Audit at the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, South Africa; Daniel Adaramola, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for Unity Bank PLC, Nigeria and Dr Gabi Siboni, Director of the Military and Strategic Affairs Program and Cyber Security Program at The Institute for National Security Studies, Israel; to name a few.