How to build a career in cyber security

In Innovation, Success

Kenya boasts the fastest mobile internet speeds in Africa, faster than the United States.  It boasts one of the highest mobile penetration on the continent about 80%. However with the advent of internet comes the opportunity for online safety.

We all know how the government and banks are losing billions of shillings to hackers. Cyber security companies are making billions from this problem and companies are seeking professionals in this market but laborers are few as the harvest piles up.

Venture capitalists are investing big in cyber security startups since demand is rising and returns are assured as more activities are moved online with banks, insurance companies, payment platforms and learning institutions move their data online.

Suppose a hacker gains entry into a hospital’s life support system, or traffic lights controls get hacked or nuclear plants systems are hacked by criminals. Think of a driver-less car being hacked? The impact of Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence will further expose humans to serious risks of cyber attacks further deepening the need for cyber security experts.

Perhaps you have been wondering how you can switch careers or make yourself a much sort after cyber security professional or even start your own company. Here are a few things you can do if you are truly interested in this market. Depending on your level you don’t need all of them you may just one tip.

Learn how to code

If you don’t have formal training in programming you need a foundation in coding. Computer programs are written in codes and so is malware. Your point of entry is knowing how programs are written and how bad programs or malware are made. You need knowledge of programming languages such as python, java script, C++ you don’t need all of them, one is enough.

Get a certificate in hacking

There are numerous colleges such as Technobrain and especially online that will teach you how to hack. You just need to use this knowledge in the right way and you will make money. One such as course make set you back between Sh50k and Sh100k. Online portals such as and youtube can be very helpful.

Knowledge of how hackers think enables one to know how to combat attacks. Use a thief to catch a thief. Don’t be a thief though.  One is able to detect and strengthen weaknesses in network systems before attackers hit.

Look for interest group

Get yourself around people who are good in cyber security. Avoid those who attack others for money but join especially professionals in established companies with good knowledge in online security. They can be found on facebook and whatsapp but watch-out the characters you are hooking up with.

Get Internships

Look for internships in great institutions to help grow your knowledge in the market and add to your credibility. You will learn faster in a good company than on your own.

Don’t miss: Opportunities galore for cyber security experts

Get a computer science degree

For those who have a opportunity to choose a career and are interested in cyber security, a degree in computer science is a great start. However you need to choose a quality learning centre since most computer science graduates in Kenya are found not to be upto speed.

Study forensic investigation or networking

Having a basic if not advanced knowledge in forensic investigation will go along way in boosting your skills in cyber investigations above the rest of the competition.

Be hungry

Technology changes daily and hacking strategies must change even faster. Be hungry and don’t stop learning. Keep yourself on top of news in the industry and learn how you can take advantage of change.


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