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Published on Tuesday 31st of July 2018

26th July 2018 saw the inaugural QA Higher Education ICT & Cyber Security Conference held in Abuja, Nigeria.

We were delighted to welcome guests from the Presidency, Office of the Vice President, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Galaxy Backbone, Ministry of Justice, Tetfund, Manasik Travels and Holborn Institute. We were also delighted to welcome staff and final year IT students from Nile, Bingham and Baze University Abuja.

With a full agenda, the day included a range of fascinating Cyber Security and ICT talks and discussions, alongside networking opportunities to further facilitate knowledge sharing in this continually evolving subject area. Sessions throughout the day covered a breadth of topics, from Cybercrime and counter terrorism, static code analysis, fuzzing tools, and big data, making the event a truly informative exploration of Cyber.

Talks and keynotes of the day

Introductions for the day started with Nick Miller, Marketing and Recruitment Director and Joy Musa, Director of International Recruitment, both from QA Higher Education, introducing the day, their excitement about the potential that Nigeria has to develop within this sector, and the range of training options available to support the country in doing so through the QA group of companies.

In keeping with the tech theme of the day, 2 of our sessions demonstrated the ever-connected world in which we live, with sessions delivered remotely to introduce QA’s Cyber First programme and Cyber Summer Schools. Both of these initiatives are designed to support children and young adults with a passion for tech to develop their skills, aiming to fill the current skills gap that this continually growing market is experiencing.

The second of our remotely delivered talks was a presentation from QA Trainer, Ryan Ackroyd, who took the room through the different methods of identifying system and application vulnerabilities to allow cyber specialists to secure these from outside threats. Discussing the range of tools and techniques available, attendees were keen to further understand the steps that system and network administrators should take to increase security.

The next of our keynote speakers was the distinguished Dr Vincent Olatunji, Director E-Government and Regulation, with an impassioned speech about the future of Nigeria in the cyber and tech field.

The next keynote speech was delivered by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Investments – Barrister Ismail Ahmed. He spoke about the commitment of the Nigerian Government to social development and skills building for the most economically disadvantaged groups in Nigeria.

Our afternoon sessions included presentations from Professor Hamid Jahankhani, Northumbria University London MSc Cyber Security Programme Leader, on Global e-Security and Cybercrime, followed by Dr Arshad Jamal, our Associate Dean at Northumbria University London, exploring the value of big data tools for businesses and the skills needed within the industry to support sustained innovation.

Continuing the Northumbria University London representation, we were delighted to follow these with a presentation from Northumbria University London alumnus, Sirajo Gidado, who took to the stage to discuss the digital oilfield, specifically the vulnerabilities and protection of SCADA systems from cyber-attacks.

With a final workshop facilitated by Professor Hamid, Dr Arshad and Sirajo Gidado attendees were able to draw on the day’s learning to discuss the ethics and protection requirements for smart tech in the home, alongside the implications for the general public and law enforcement.

Recognising developments in Nigeria

The team presented QA Higher Education Awards of Achievement for contribution to ICT development in Nigeria.

The recipients were:

  • NITDA for rolling out a cyber security strategy and promoting cyber security awareness through several projects across Nigeria. This was received by the Acting Director of Cyber Security, Dr Wariowei Dimie Shively. He expressed his delight that the work of the agency is recognised globally and expressed their commitment to promoting Cyber Security.
  • The next award went to the Office of the President for their social development initiate, N-Power. An initiative that empowers Nigerian youths through a social benefit scheme and technological skills development.
  • The final award went to our Northumbria University Alumnus, Sirajo Gidado, who currently applies his skills learnt at university to help automate processes at his work place, Nigeria Civil Aviation.

Acknowledgements and more information

The QA Higher Education team in attendance would like to take the opportunity to thank all those in attendance throughout the day, including our speakers from both Abuja and the UK.

If you would like to find out more about the event or any of the topics or training programmes covered, please contact us.

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