Participants pose for a group photo

The 6th edition of the Cyber Defence East Africa regional opened this morning at Statistics House. The two -day event organized by European company NRD Cyber Security and National Information Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA-U) aims to build cybersecurity capacity for Uganda.

The conference attracted cybersecurity professionals along with policymakers and representatives from Critical Infrastructure operators. The conference seeks to address how organizations, which are in particularly sensitive to cyber incidents, should be preparing and how they should effectively handle the crisis in case of its occurrence

In his keynote address, NRD Cyber Security CEO Vilius Benetis was very positive about the progress East Africa region as a whole has made so far in dealing with cybersecurity.

“The most effective way to prevent cyber-attacks is to be ahead by having good visibility of potential threats and a plan of how to react adequately. It is great to see that the region is already taking steps forward as the countries start thinking and talking about preparation before the actual crisis hits.”

He further highlighted the need to bring the cybersecurity discussion to the boardrooms.

Dr. Vilius Benetis, C.E.O NRD Cyber security

“We at  NRD Cyber Security, as well as NITA-U, are advocating to have cyber risks and cyber threat discussions in management board meetings. At the end of the day, when a cyber crisis hits, it will be no less devastating than other disasters – earthquakes, floods, wars, etc.’’, he warned.

NITA-U’s Ag. Executive Director, Peter Kahiigi urged private & Public organizations to embrace cybersecurity.

“We can only be strong collectively. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. There is no better defense than being prepared,’’ Kahiigi advised.

He further affirmed Government of Uganda’s efforts towards firming cybersecurity.

Peter Kahiigi, Ag. Executive Director, NITA-U

“Government of Uganda acknowledges the importance of creating an environment that allows secure and safe digital transactions for Ugandan citizens.  The government has put in place the National Information Security Framework which provides for minimum security guidelines for every Government agency and the Critical Information Infrastructure each entity is required to maintain. This includes incident response and crisis management largely focused on a prevention and proactive approach.’’

The conference will not only invite the attendees to discuss strategic aspects of preparing for a cyber crisis but also to two tactical sessions with hands-on experience to build the practical skills. One of the sessions is a group work exercise, based on a real case scenario of a cyber incident occurring in a banking sector. The second session will have a direct effect on Uganda’s cybersecurity index by e-Governance Academy (eGA).  At the end of the two days, Participants will be equipped with knowledge of cybersecurity as well as practical skills.