This victory will see the team, under the Digital Forensics and Information Security Research Cluster (DFISRC), represent Namibia in the US for the first-ever International Collegiate Cyber Security Competition to be held later this year.
Cybercrime includes bank fraud, identity theft and extortion. While experts say it is difficult to gauge, it is estimated that this form of crime is a multi-billion dollar industry. McAfee, a computer security software company, claims that cybercrime hinders trade, competitiveness, innovation and global economic growth, and has indicated that South Africa is losing approximately N$5.8 billion a year to internet corruption.
The primary objective of the competition is to provide students with real-world challenges simulated in a theoretical environment that models a practical corporate network to curb these crimes.
Students are challenged to protect these corporate networks while at the same time attending to normal day-to-day activities such as setting up e-mails, attending to employee queries and serving clients under strict deadlines.
A Lecturer in the Faculty, Attlee Gamundani, said that during the competition, cyberattacks are presented unannounced and students are required to detect such threats and ensure that operations are not affected. “Winning this competition is proof that NUST produces graduates who are competent and know how to perform their tasks in a practical manner,” Gamundani said.
Canada, Japan and Indonesia are some of the countries that will participate in the competition. Air Namibia has sponsored return tickets for the participating students, but the students need to secure more funding to meet all the costs to be covered for them to participate.