Network engineers that participated in the recent Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) online training workshop organized by UbuntuNet Alliance in partnership with Internet Society (ISOC) and AFRINIC have hailed the impact of the virtual workshop which they believe will help NRENs safeguard their networks against potential threats.

At least 18 NREN engineers from the UbuntuNet Alliance region participated in the three-week workshop that run from 13th -27th July 200.

Participants were trained in theoretical and practical sessions of MANRS which included undertaking various actions aimed at securing networks including filtering, anti-spoofing, coordination and global variation. The training also included other post training tasks such as asking the NREN engineers to update their routing information on AFRINIC.

Wilson Wasswa, UbuntuNet Alliance Network Engineer commended the Internet Society and AFRINIC for collaborating with the Alliance on the training which he believes will help to arrest incidents of security attacks on networks which the network engineers says are on the rise.

“It is important to take a moment and think about the growth of the internet. With its growth, the internet has remained vulnerable to attacks.  There are well-documented incidences of route leaks and highjacks and as UbuntuNet Alliance we believe trainings like these are crucial in preventing these incidences. This is why UbuntuNet Alliance is collaborating with organizations like ISOC to implement these training workshops to empower our network engineers to have the required skills to be able to safeguard their networks. Next we will be following up with the trainees to deploy these best practices and ensure that their NRENs become MANRS members.”

Ronald Matobvu, Network Operating Engineer at the Research and Education Network of Uganda (RENU) was excited to be part of training workshop and to be amongst the engineers that will be facilitating the implementation of the learnt actions.

“The internet is big and robust and therefore thousands of attacks and threats including BGB high jacking, route leaks and IP spoofing. MANRS has spelt out actions that help in securing the internet and we are excited that we will be able to roll out and deploy the actions. We are grateful to UbuntuNet Alliance and the Internet Society for facilitating this training.”

Weighing in on the training, Kenya Research and Education Network (KENET) Network Engineer, Lilian Maina says she was impressed with the flexibility and convenience of the training especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as participants were still able to do both theoretical and hands-on simulations online.

From Eb@le, the NREN of DRC, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Augustine Kanyimbu said: “The training came at an opportune time when issues of internet highjacking are on the rise especially in the DRC. There is a need for all telecom players, ISPs and NRENs to come together and get acquainted with MANRS practices so that we build internet infrastructure that is secure. With this training, the Eb@le network, which is under construction is expected to be secure enough. We thank UbuntuNet Alliance and ISOC for this workshop.”

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