Uganda loses up to Shs 52 million on cyber security and in an effort to save the situation, Uganda Communications commission (UCC) has Friday, 21 February launched the Cyber Stars of Uganda competition at their headquarters in Bugolobi.
In a bid to equip the youths with knowledge on cyber related issues, the highly anticipated workshop attracted several students from various Universities and institutions aged between 18-24 years including Makerere, UMTAC, Kabaale University, UCU and Uganda Martyrs University among others.
Addressing journalists during the launch, Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, UCC acting Executive Director said cyber security is not a new thing in Uganda, but rather the country lacks experts to curb the issues.
She cited that Cyber security is one of the key pillars in ICT development because as various companies and individuals strive to get everything online, they have to ensure that things to do with data and networks are secure from unauthorized access to their system.
“We noted that as a country, we don’t have the expertise to curb cyber crime for example and we thought it wise to work with academia and other stakeholders to improve our national capability to be able to fight cyber crime which is an evolving thing not only in Uganda, but Worldwide.
We have been training operators but this time round, we deemed it necessary to train students so as to get enough experts whom we all know are going to be the staff of tomorrow and with them, we are rest assured that we are strongly building our expertise.”
When asked on the fate of the program, Sewankambo said the commission hopes to have a continuous flow of qualified manpower, thus, the training is going to be done regularly.
She added, “The competition seeks to expose and create awareness among these students of the diverse opportunity to build an interest as they get to learn as well as discover even more complex cyber related issues.”
Some of the Countries in East Africa who have picked interest in the program include Rwanda and Tanzania among others.
The two weeks competition will take students through a mentorship program where the best competitors will commence to online semi-finals and eventually get to the finals where winners will be rewarded.
The winners will then further participate in the regional competition which will be held in Rwanda this year.
Dr Hanifah Nabuuma, an expert in Cyber security urged participants to be diligent and modest when dealing with cyber security issues.
Nabuuma highlighted to the students some of the key positions which can be occupied by Cyber security personnel including incident responders, vulnerability assessors, penetration testers, security auditors and forensic experts among others.
She encouraged students to embrace the opportunity given to them by UCC because there are a vast unoccupied opportunities in Government, businesses and Authorities among others that require skilled cyber security personnel
The Cyber stars competition is one of UCC’s commitments to strengthen cyber security in different domains including; Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing, Digital Forensics and Computer Network Defense among others.