#SS19HACK: Protecting connected citizens in the 4IR

Johannesburg, 21 Feb 2019
Read time 4min 20sec

ITWeb Events, in conjunction with ICT skills development company Geekulcha, is pleased to announce that #SS19HACK is now open for registration and is looking for young, talented individuals who are keen to develop their skills through learning and innovation, and who have a passion for cyber security.

ITWeb Security Summit 2019

Registration is open for Security Summit 2019 in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The agenda is also available, with themes ranging from developing a cyber security strategy and increasing user awareness to the latest trends impacting on security and much more. Eight top international keynote speakers have been confirmed. Register today to benefit from our early-bird prices (25% off the standard fee). To find out more, click here.

We are living in the time of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), where there are more 'things' connected to the Internet than people. In addition, the rise in automation and variety of technologies bring many possibilities, and, hand-in-hand with these possibilities comes a slew of vulnerabilities, says Tiyani Nghonyama, COO and CTO of ICT skills development company Geekulcha, which has been involved in the hackathon since its inception in 2017.

"Protecting connected citizens is a priority, he adds, and that's why this year's hackathon, which will be held on 28 and 29 May, alongside the ITWeb Security Summit, at the Sandton Convention Centre, is themed: 'Protecting connected citizens in the 4IR'.

"This year's hackathon challenges local techies to build technology and mechanisms to protect the connected population," adds Allyson Towle, country marketing manager at Micro Focus. "This year, the event will truly be a part of Security Summit. It will run in a glassed off section in the main exhibition area to build awareness of the event, and allow delegates to see the goings on. Moreover, we are catering for 50 participants this year, up from 35 last year and 30 the year before."

In addition, she says, plans are afoot for a 'Capture the Flag', which will invite delegates to get involved.

"The ITWeb Security Summit Hackathon is a passion of mine and something that I believe adds value to the summit as a whole," adds Towle. "It was born out of a the idea of providing an opportunity for young people, including tertiary students and start-ups that are interested in cyber and information security, that have a dream of coming up with innovative ideas to, in this case, 'connect the digital citizen', with a security mindset."

She says the aim is to expose these young people to today's cyber and information security professionals. "Delegates are encouraged to visit the hackathon and meet the 'hackers', and at the same time they will hopefully be able to spot up-and-coming talent, and, where applicable, they could reach out to them after the event for possible jobs, internships, learnerships and suchlike."

Finally, Towle says, we know that skills are an issue in the cyber security space and finding young talent is incredibly difficult. "I hope that #SS19HACK can become a space where we educate these young hackers through the ideathon and hackathon, as to what is cyber and information security, and how it is relevant to business and, in fact, every facet of our lives."

Ivan Regasek, CEO of ITWeb, says hackathons naturally emerged as a format created by developers to collaborate and compete between themselves. "They are perfectly suited for learning and problem-solving, encouraging innovative thinking, challenging oneself to learn something new and achieve it, usually collaborating as a team, in a set timeframe. They've also shown evidence of success, as there have been many cases of very successful projects which were born at a hackathon. It is the ideal format for ambitious skills development."

According to him, #SS19HACK is now in its third year, and its focus on infosec is deliberate. "The Security Summit is our flagship event and information security is a forerunner in the field of software development. It takes advanced skills to find the chinks in the security armour, and in many ways, being the world's greatest hacker is the pinnacle of what it means to be a geek."

ITWeb is also a supporter of the 4IR, in the development of future skills as the best strategy for the future of our country, he says. "We welcome government's efforts to improve service delivery and to eventually change the way it governs, and to do that through locally developed IT solutions. These solutions cannot be feasible without due security consideration.

"Our hope," adds Regasek, "is that, in collaboration of the three worlds of the learners, the industry and government, working together for the common skills problem, in its most difficult context of IT security, will affect meaningful change over time. This is why we believe events of this nature are important for SA's infosec community, the broader IT community and country as a whole."

#SS19HACK is open for registration and is are looking for young, talented individuals who want to develop their skills through learning and innovation, and who have a passion for information security, ML, AI, IOT and other new age technologies. For more information, click here.

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