Cybersecurity Capacity Building for NRENs: Highlights from Nairobi Workshop

The UbuntuNet Alliance NREN Community is spearheading the establishment of a regional Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) platform to enhance cybersecurity capacity building activities. Recently, the community held a cyber security training in Nairobi, Kenya that focused on understanding the threat intelligence landscape, Cloud and Application Programming Interface (API), and offensive and defensive security.

Cybersecurity forms core of the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) due to their nature of operation. The UbuntuNet Alliance NREN Community, under the AfricaConnect3 project, has been at the forefront of uniting the NRENs towards establishing a regional Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) platform for collaboration on threat intelligence sharing, best practices and participation in cybersecurity capacity building activities.

This year, the cyber security training was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 17-20 April and the focus was to understand the threat intelligence landscape, Cloud and Application Programming Interface (API) both of which have become fundamental building blocks of the modern technology space, and understanding offensive and defensive security on how to build a functional modern day cyber security operation center. The workshop was well attended with twenty-three NREN representatives being present. However, the low number of female participations in community cybersecurity workshops continues to be a concerned as only two females attended.

Participants during the workshop

The content of the workshop was well distilled to include practical use cases as well as ethical hacking sessions which excitedly introduced the participants consisting of Network & Security engineers, software developers, project managers and CSIRT coordinators to the emerging tools that should be at the disposal of every cyber security enthusiast. This invaluable practical knowledge will be handy to the NRENs in rethinking their cybersecurity journey to becoming more resilient in the wake of unpredictability of cyber-attacks. More insight was also gained on cybersecurity maturity and capability, cybersecurity strategy, zero trust as well as cybersecurity live demos from a cyber-criminal’s mindset.

UbuntuNet Alliance extends its sincere thanks to all the member NRENs; EthERNet, MoRENet, KENET, RENU, ZAMREN, BERNET, RwEdNet, ZIMREN, TERNET and MAREN who attended the workshop. Let us always remember that it is not how much knowledge we gain every day, but rather what we do with the knowledge gained on our journey towards becoming resilient.

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