CyberSpeak | Learn & Connect is an independent, pan-African, go-to meetup events. Creating time and space to enable learning from experts and practitioners, networking with peers & professionals and connecting within the cyber security industry. The CyberSpeak LC meetups are purposed at core to foster systemic and sustained conversations from promoting awareness, gender diversity in the industry,Cyber entrepreneurship, considering emerging security technology  trends as well as promoting learning and community connections within the ecosystem.Our objective is to enable participants appreciate, understand and get specific insights into the topics delivered – from industry and knowledge matter perspective to in-depth subject matter analysis, coupled with highlighting keys areas of interest to our audience.

We believe we are making the industry more approachable by helping the infosec community in answering the following questions: For beginners, Anything they want to know? And for Experts, Anything they could tell their former self before you got started?

The year 2018 was an amazing year for CyberSpeak LC, we had barely scratched the surface, nonetheless we were able to organize 6 successful cybersecurity meetups. Notably, we have brought onboard thought leaders in the infosec industry, since we understand the value that people who would want to be mentored attach to these “gurus”. The first meetup was before the deadline of enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation, on the 23rd May. On June 2nd 2018 we had another session on ICS cybersecurity, Cyber Insurance led by Steve mambo, Web security by Mercy Rop and a final presentation on the cyber crime Bill 2018  by Michael Felix director at CyberSpeak LC.

With the momentum building up  we organized for yet another, equally interesting session three. Significantly, this session had only women speakers, since we have a noble cause of promoting gender diversity in the cyberspace. Aprielle Moraa a security management risk consultant and research director at ISACA Kenya Chapter, talked about Cyber Risk and Compliance and she opined quoting a professor of Cambridge university that “Cybersecurity is a feeling and a reality and the two are not the same”. We also had Brencil Khaimba a consultant and editor in chief at Serianu who also inspired career change into cyber security,  not forgetting Irene Njoroge of Shehacks who presented on gender disparity in the industry and a remote speaker Doreen makoena a Digital Forensic Practitioner from South Africa who led us on Digital forensics.

On August 2nd 2018.We had our fourth session. It was one of the best sessions with big names in the industry: Dr. Bright Gameli head of Cybersecurity services at Internet Solutions Kenya and founder Africahackon, walked us through the Cybersecurity landscape. We also brought a speaker from Ghana a blue teamer Sunday McDickson Samuel a Cyber Defense Practitioner for Africa’s Critical Infrastructure. Promoting African-built solutions within Africa. Mr. Sunday presented on Financial Sector Cybersecurity. We also had Solomon ‘Jade’ Thuo, a senior security Engineer at Garret Discovery who was among the panel talking about Mobile Security and especially the Sim Swap cyber menace that had rocked our country Kenya. Finally, we had Claudia Jematia  currently a Cyber Crime Consultant at United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, who presented on Gender Diversity in Cybersecurity. To say the least this session was a marvelous feat.

We would eventually organize for a fifth CyberSpeak LC session,where we brought in Raymond Bett CEO Stract Consulting and currently President of the ISACA Kenya Chapter, who talked about entrepreneurship opportunities in the Cybersecurity Industry, offering great insights on some of the opportunities that people can leverage for business. Teddy Njoroge Country head Eset Africa presented on Endpoint security solution Eset and its value chains, even giving free ESET licenses to attendees. Stanley Chege CEO Madison Kenya presented on Enterprise Security Awareness and its need in every organization. Moreover, Dr. Stanley Githinji an information Security and Forensics Lecturer from USIU did a presentation on Cyber Education. Finally, Ash Dastmalchi, head of Cybersecurity Qsec OWASP Ghana.

At last we had our last session on Internet Governance, Cyber Laws & Regulations and Data Protection and Privacy, this captured the Cybercrime Bill 2018, the GDPR and CBK guidelines for Payment Service Providers. Our speakers were Mercy Wairua a Infrastructure and Tech Lawyer from Mota Engil  presenting the GDPR and Grace Mutu’ngu Tech Policy Researcher and Advocate, presenting on the Data Protection and Privacy.

Other significant achievements were, partnering with Stop Think Connect to promote safety in the internet, this culminated into us organizing for the cyberweek in October. Furthermore, CyberSpeak LC was championing for Child Online Protection through the Child Online Risk Awareness (CORA campaign). We were also been able to  organize twitter chats and even coined a hashtag #CyberThurday to that end we were able to create an online conversation on twitter. Our key objective being to amplify cybersecurity conversations in Africa by having a single day for everyone in the continent to contribute, share, learn and champion for the cyber ecosystem in the region. Tendai Marengereke a cybersecurity specialist and lecturer at Harare University was the first guest for our  #CyberThursday.

We also had the Hacker Village which is a practical session where the attendees get into the actual security implementations with professionals in the industry. This platform also offers a chance for those who have a skill to showcase them, from which they are able to mentor others as well as build formidable networks in the industry.

CyberSpeak LC was also able to conduct satellite sessions, in other towns. For instance we had a wonderful session at the American corner Nakuru, this was an introductory session on how to grow into the industry. Likewise we hosted one at Swahili Pot Mombasa which emancipated the audience on Security for Activists. Critical Infrastructures and SME cyber security. The Mombasa session would culminate into CyberSpeak LC being part of the Pwani Innovation Week, that happened in December. Finally, we also organized two successful, sessions in Rwanda and Uganda, and it was a big achievement going international.

Looking forward into 2019, we are coming back much bigger and better. To the infosec community, we assure you better engagement and interesting topics and sessions.

By Collins Bunde.
Co-Founder- CyberSpeak LC & Digital Forensics Analyst.

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