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Africa Hackon Conference 2015 to take place at the iHub on 31 July

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Africahackon is East Africa’s premier technical computer security collective which brings together the individual talents of the best and brightest security professionals in the region, through live presentations, engaging discussions and hands on demonstrations. They are connoisseurs in a full range of defensive and offensive security topics are well versed in the theoretical aspect of cyber security and masters on the practical and tactical angle of the art.

AfricaHackon houses not just ICT professionals but architects, electrical engineers, designers and business professionals. We have fun at what we do and boast of having a golden opportunity to shape the Information Security space across the continent.

Africa Hackon 2015

On 28th of February 2014 in Nairobi, Africa Hackon organized the first hacking conference in Kenya. The event is back this year, happening on 31th July at the iHub following a call for Presentations for #opZeroDay 2015 whose deadline passed on 30th May. The conference is not meant only for hackers, It is for anyone with an appreciation and fascination with information systems, gadgets and how they can be tinkered with.

Africa Hackon History

AfricaHackOn started with a simple conversation between two information security engineers – Bright Gameli Mawudor and Lewis Ng’ang’a. They met online on Facebook where they realised their common interest in Cyber Security. They were concerned with how Kenya lacked awareness in the field and the fact that the industry still remained in the shadows.

On 30th September, 2013, they came up with an idea to emulate hacker conferences that happen around the world. These include DEFCON, BLACKHAT, DERBYCON, HACK MIAMI and several others. The journey was going to be long with a lot of work to be done.

Kenya had been hosting many conferences related to cyber security but always either purely theoretical or vendor driven. This led to many techies in information security having a distaste for them.

From the very beginning, the vision for Africa Hackon was to have a conference with real live demonstrations, to educate the community without getting lost in vendor specific agendas, and to finally grow the industry by engaging all parties in the country and Africa as a whole.

Tickets & Venue
Venue: iHub, 4th Bishop Magua Center, Nairobi.
Tickets: Available at Ticket Sasa. Advance tickets going for Ksh. 1,500

 Why Africa Hackon matters

Cyber Security is increasingly becoming a key component of the strategy of organizations in the country. Gone are the days when cyber security was relegated to the IT department as a by the way task. Today organizations are desperately looking for talented information security managers and chief information security officers. This is a step in the right direction but a lot is still wanting.

Foremost is the lack of skilled information security personnel to fill these roles. Most of the candidates are general IT practitioners who acquire a security related certification which then becomes their only qualification. Most lack the technical skills and capacity to steer organizations through successfully cyber security programs. A side effect is top level management being led to splash huge amounts of money on hardware and software while neglecting proper security procedures and practices. Not many organizations have staff awareness programs, ignoring or not been properly advised on the crucial nature of educating and inculcating a security culture throughout their organization.

It is therefore of utmost importance that cyber security is built in these organizations. This is a key pillar of the cyber security master-plan and an area AfricaHackon is pushing passionately. They are doing through these through aggressive initiatives of training the next generation of information security practitioners. A good place is in learning institutions where a good foundation is being laid. These students are then guided and mentored by some of the brightest information security professionals in the industry. The vision is to have a large number of information security professionals well versed in both the defensive and offensive sides of the trade.

Cyber security is and will continually become a critical aspect of the strategy of any organization. Top level management is starting to realise this albeit after either they or other companies suffer data breaches. Cases of fraud and data loss are now a common stay in the news. It is becoming harder for organizations to sweep these cases under the rug especially in our rapidly growing technically driven economy.

We have a proliferation of technology in the workplace. Trends such as Bring Your Own Devices and remote working have been putting cyber security on the center stage for some time now. The ease with which attacks can be carried out compounds the issue and cyber security awareness becomes mandatory for all staff.

Cyber security is an agenda that needs to be driven right from top level management all the way down to every person in the organization. Competent Information Security staff should be part of every organization. Cyber security should be ingrained in the organizations strategy and no longer be an afterthought..

AfricaHackon is pushing this agenda through a dedicated team of passionate and skilled professionals in varied areas of cyber security. One of the initiatives is through conferences that tackle the actual state of cyber security in organizations through real life demonstrations. Both the offensive and defensive apects are expertly delivered to the audience in an interactive and open manner. They are holding their second conference on 31st July at the iHub.

Resources

Find resource papers on Cyber Security and other material from the 2014 conference here

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