Riara University on Saturday formally launched Acyberschool Riara University (ARU) Hub, a center expected to boost the country’s fight against the increasing and sophisticated cyber attacks.
The hub, which is expected to train cyber professionals regularly, is a partnership between Riara University and Acyberschool.
During the launch at Riara University's main campus in Nairobi, Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait, the chief guest, confirmed that the ARU hub was a timely investment expected to fill a gap in the fight against cyber threats.
She further noted that online threats have been on the rise with at least 2,000 complaints filed regularly yet the country has only registered 3,000 data controllers and processors.
“His Excellency President William Ruto is very keen on matters of ICT. When it comes to cyber security threats, we have a serious gap in Kenya in terms of capacity. As we continue to automate, it is important to ensure that our cyberspaces are safe,” Kassait told the enthusiastic congregation, mostly students hoping to enroll in the hub.
"I am excited about this launch. I congratulate Riara University for this milestone. I like the vision that you see the future in matters of cyber security and are taking a bold step. This level of thought leadership is what will take this country further."
The hub is expected to provide cutting-edge cybersecurity learning as well as collaboration and will be a resource for businesses to access advanced cybersecurity tools.
The center is also gearing up to offer technical support to multilateral organisations affected by cyber threats while also creating and incubating innovative cybersecurity technologies.
At the event, Wesley Masongo, a third-year student pursuing a Bachelor of International Relations at Riara University, was enrolled as the first ARU hub learner under a full scholarship after winning a raffle.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Masongo, an eloquent speaker with a calm demeanor, revealed that ARU Hub will help him safeguard his activities online and provide much-needed support in the cybercrime fight.
“This opportunity means I get to learn about cybersecurity while also increasing my safety online. For example, I am a crypto trader and somehow cyber threats are directly targeting crypto accounts. I will learn how to build myself to ensure that my accounts are not accessed,” he stated.
“Also being a public figure, I will also make sure that I am not misrepresented or impersonated y taking this course.”
Felix Musau, the Dean of Riara University, hailed the partnership as a step in the right direction noting that some of the professionals from the hub will be instrumental in helping the country wade off online threats.
“This partnership between Riara University and Acyberschool safeguards our commitment to safeguard the digital landscape. Every day, cyber threats are all over. With this kind of training, this hub will be able to monitor what is happening in the country. This is a place where we are looking to host professionals. In the future, we shall have a body,” he stated.
“When the government websites went down, there was no hub for professionals. This app will be able to provide that kind of support by providing skilled people.”
Riara Vice Chancellor Robert Gateru, on the other hand, reiterated that the hub, just like the university, was prioritising quality over quantity in churning out professionals.
“You can train 2,000 people who will do nothing and you can also train 20 people who will change the landscape of the country. We are looking towards the latter. We are working in partnership with Acyberschool,” he explained.
So far, a sizeable number of students have already enrolled at the institution.