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Cisco launches new cybersecurity center to strengthen Kenya’s cyber defenses

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Last year, Kenya detected over 1.2 billion cyber threat events, which represented a 943.01% increase from the 123 million threat events detected in the previous period (July to September 2023).

According to the report by the Communications Authority during the three month period between October and December 2023, the exponential increase is attributed to the increased exploitation of “system vulnerabilities” aligned to global trends, and relates to the global surge in the deployment and use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices which are inherently insecure.

In a move to help detect, prevent and respond to cyber threats, Cisco today launched a new Cybersecurity Technology Experience Centre at the Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICT Authority) and the University Of Nairobi (UON) to offer cybersecurity training and awareness, including courses from Cisco Networking Academy.

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The center will also serve as a space for customers and partners to deepen their understanding of cybersecurity and learn more about Cisco’s technology and solutions. These include innovations using AI and machine learning to alert security teams of potential issues streamline the investigation process and improve response time to cyber threats and attacks.

Speaking at the launch, Francine Katsoudas, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy, and Purpose Officer at Cisco, noted that with AI increasing the pace of change in our work and our lives, there is need to ensure that communities are connected and have the skills to participate and respond to threats. “This partnership between CDA and Cisco Networking Academy allows us to equip more people with the skills needed for the future and strengthen the country’s cyber defences. We look forward to working with Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy and ICTA on advancing the goals they’ve set in Kenya’s Development Plan.”

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The unprecedented surge in cyberattacks in 2023 was a global phenomenon as countries around the globe, including Kenya, are facing a major skills gap. According to the latest Cisco Cybersecurity Readiness Index, 86 percent of organizations globally are impacted by a shortage of cybersecurity talent.

The Experience Centre is part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme in Kenya, founded in 2023. CDA works hand-in-hand with Cisco’s Networking Academy, which has been active in Kenya for more than 20 years, training over 130,000 learners in networking, cybersecurity, programing and other digital skills. Aligned to Cisco’s commitment to power an inclusive future for all, the CDA and Networking Academy programmes empower communities worldwide through technology and education. All, the CDA and Networking Academy programmes empower communities worldwide through technology and education.

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“Protecting citizens against cybercrime requires collaboration. Cisco and ICTA invite government, educational institutions, private sector organisations and entities committed to Kenya’s cybersecurity infrastructure and digital transformation to engage in this landmark initiative,” said Shain Rahim, Country Leader for Cisco Kenya. “We believe we can make an important and tangible difference in the industry and help accelerate the country’s digital transformation.”

Stanley Kamanguya, Chief Executive Officer at the ICT Authority highlighted that the collaboration was timely adding that the escalation of cyber threats demands significant investments to build resiliency and strengthen defences. “We are proud to collaborate with technology leaders like Cisco, to support our efforts in building a secure digital economy. With the help of the newly inaugurated Cybersecurity Technology Experience Centre, we can better support organizations in training people and securing digital assets and infrastructure,” said Kamanguya.

In addition, Principal Secretary, State Department for ICT and Digital Economy Eng. John Tanui, MBS announced that the Government is in the process of coming up with an agency that will deal specifically with Cybersecurity as such the Cisco Center will be of great help in this endeavour.

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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakobahttp://techmoran.com
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs  TechMoran.com, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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