Namibian telecommunications operator Make the Connection (MTC) has donated N$60 000 (approximately US$4,600) to the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) as the telco and academic institution partner to develop cyber security skill sets.
Deloitte's first ever Cyber Security Survey for Namibia, released in March 2018, found what it described as an "inconsistent appreciation and awareness of the risks and benefits of cyber security management in the Namibian market".
According to the survey, 76% of all local businesses, a single person was reported to be responsible for the monitoring and management of cyber risk and incidents.
It also found that while budgets for IT in Namibia as a whole are comparable to global standards, they may be too low for the strategic development of information asset management and that there is room for improvement on cybersecurity skills and training in the country.
The survey also identifies training as a critical activity in reducing the likelihood of a successful attack using social engineering techniques to gain access to a company's critical systems and data.
35% of respondents did not conduct training on information security at all, the research shows.
MTC's donation will be used to support the Namibia National Cyber Security Competition (NNCSC) incorporating the International Collegiate Cyber Defense Invitational organised by the NUST.
Patrick Mushimba, MTC's IT General Manager said, "Our people have become quite active on internet, hence the security on the cyberspace is quite crucial. As MTC we have the responsibility to ensure that whenever our customers surf the internet, their data and information is safe and protected, hence our support for the development of skilled cyber defenders. And we strongly believe that collaborating with NUST can go a long way in the invention of tools and solutions for a secure internet experiences."
Dr Fungai Bhunu Shava, Senior Computer Science Lecturer at NUST says the partnership will provide students with an experience of real world cybersecurity challenges while maintaining corporate networks that cannot be replicated in a typical classroom.
He added that students will secure and defend a virtual corporate/industry network composed of Windows and Linux operating systems along with routers and switches as well as professional penetration testers.
These testers will act as 'hostile hackers' for the students to deal with while also managing regular day-to-day tasks of the network.
"Students will be better trained and prepared when they graduate for the work environment. This is a platform to enhance teamwork, collaboration, interpersonal skills and problem solving skills while providing industry an opportunity to witness their future experts at work, solving real work problems simulated in a business like environment."