By Johannes Hangula
THE rapid technology advancement has made the use of the Internet an indispensable part of everyone’s daily life.
However, hackers always take advantage of security loopholes in computer systems and launch various cyber-attacks that lead to massive losses of individuals and organisation’s valuable resources, thus cyber security has gradually become a great concern for various sectors.
To prepare Information Technology (IT) graduates for the cyber war in the industry, the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) Faculty of Computing and Informatics in partnership with University of Namibia (UNAM) hosted the 2nd Namibia National Cyber Security Competition (NNCSC) Friday last week.
The competition themed, ‘Securing Digital Systems Excellence’ saw two teams from NUST and two teams from UNAM battle for the coveted prizes that includes a ticket to the International Cyber Security competition to be held in USA in June next year.
The teams worked to deter the attacks at all times and secure their network from seasoned industry practitioners who served as the black team (hackers) in real-time. The teams scored points based on their ability to maintain availability of key network services necessary to keep their business up and running, and lost points when their essential business services were attacked, a typical scenario that cyber professionals face on a daily basis.
To ensure that the competition maintained the international standards required, two cyber security experts Mark Wynne and Justin Pedersen flew in from Highline College in the USA to officiate as judge and attacker respectively.
In his welcoming remarks, Dr Nobert Jere highlighted the importance of hosting competitions of this nature because of the latest cyber threats Namibia and the world face and the fact that cyber-attacks are ever increasing each day.
“The Digital Forensic and Information Security Research Cluster (DFISRC) has identified cyber security as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation”.
Dr Jere further noted that large companies have dramatically strengthened their cyber security capabilities over the years and that formal processes must be implemented to identify and prioritise IT security risks and develops mitigation strategies to stop and contain the threats of cyber security.
Namibian police chief inspector Sackeus Amutenya applauded the faculty’s initiative to help fight cyber-crime adding that more cases of cyber fraud among others have been reported.
“The need of IT security developers as well as administrators is high and the successful execution of these activities strengthens partnerships and reputations,” said Amutenya.
NUST winning team captain Joris Ikany said as more value migrates online, businesses are adopting more innovative ways of interacting with customers and other partners and noted that the cybersecurity challenge will only increase.
“Since the virulence and sophistication of assaults and complexity of IT environments have risen rapidly, addressing this challenge requires solutions that cut across strategy, operations, and risk management and technology functions,” said Ikany.
Another participant Klaudia Uuzombala said that not only did they learn a lot about teamwork, planning and organisation, and leadership skills during the competition, they have also gained an understanding of the grave threat our society faces from cyber-attack.
Organisers were pleased with the event’s success and look forward to more teams joining as the competition will be held every year during the cyber security month of October.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015