By Yankuba Jallow

84 participants graduated from an ICT specialist course at the Gambia Telecommunication and Multimedia Institute.

As we live in a highly connected world, from internet banking to government infrastructure, network protection is no longer optional but a matter of utmost importance. Cyber-attack is now a global concern. High profile security breaches have given rise to these concerns from authorities because of the dangers hackers can cause to the global economy. Cybercrime in recent years has been escalating despite government efforts and input from specialists. Its growth is being driven by the growing number of services available online and the increasing evolution of online criminals who are engaged in a continuous game with security experts. The Gambia, a third world country, is seen as a soft target for hackers. Hence the need to harden the country’s network so as to fend off potential hackers.

The ICT Boot Camp was a six weeks’ capacity training for ICT specialists with specific emphasis on cyber security, CCNA Security Ethical Hacking, Cisco Switched Networks, Cisco Routing, Cisco Troubleshooting and Implementation of Cisco IP.  The training was held from the 19th June to the 28th July 2017, at the GTMI campus in Kanifing.

Trainee participants were drawn from private, government and the University of the Gambia.

The training serves to give much importance to cyber security. The world is now highly connected making it apt for the phrase: “Global Village.” The topics covered in the course indicate the fundamental importance of network security and protection, making it a requirement for individuals, corporations Government to invest in.

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MOICI), Lamin Camara said the ministry has formulated its Cyber Security Strategy and it’s implementation has begun. He also said the country will soon have its Computer Emergency Response Team, CIRT, established; that cyber space security is a top priority of Government and as a policy objective of the NICI-II.

Cyber Security according to the Permanent Secretary cannot be under emphasised because the policy’s direction is to move away from ICTs consumption to more adoption, production and resell of ICT services which cannot be achieved without securing our cyber space and open access regime in the telecoms sector.

He said MOICI will not relent in encouraging and providing the enabling environment to any institution or organisation to play their part in ensuring that the nation is secured from such unwarranted attacks. He averred that since the year 2015, MOICI has been facilitating and investing in capacity building related to cyber security.

Barra Touray the consultant, Managing Director of Gamtel, Sulayman Suso and the Director of GTMI Mam Nderry Touray, all made similar remarks.

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