For us as a community, the year started with lots of strategic steps and directions as to how the community and indeed the general public could get the optimum value that the year holds and what we would offer. And immediately, we knew it was going to be quite an interesting, exciting, and challenging year ahead of us. And of course, we never back down from a fight, especially when it would have to do with delivering value and giving back to society; as far as our impact can reach.
As the year 2022 rounds up, it does so without taking the beauty and excitement it came with, and it’s our usual custom to always count our wins, milestones, and blessings, whilst learning from the shortcomings; so that we can see how far we have come and a call to also do more. Let’s take you through some notable highlights of the year;
- Cyber Starters Conference 2022
The Cyber Starters Conference came as a huge breakthrough, as it caused a massive shift in the cybersecurity community, especially in the minds of young and budding cybersecurity enthusiasts. This was as a result of the cutting edge presence and presentations from well positioned industry practitioners and professionals. The presence we had during this conference included the Honorable Minister of Communications of Nigeria; Prof. Isah Ali Pantami, ably represented by Prof. Salihu Jinadu, CEO of Afenoid Enterprise, Mr. Opeyemi Onifade, Aseem Jakhar, Dr. Bright G., Confidence Staveley, and other amazing speakers and panelists. A capture the flag (CTF) competition was also featured during the conference.
The hybrid event which was held on the 28th of May 2022 had roughly about 700+ physical and virtual attendees. For us, the Cyber Starters conference was more of strategic positioning of Young chaps to identify the gaps in the space and fill them up with true competence, integrity and commitment.
2. Experts Interview Session and Cyber Talks
One key thing we hold dear as a community is seeing to the growth and professional development of our community members, and as a result of this, we introduced expert sessions and cybertalks where professionals with years of hands-on experience in different domains share personalized stories and ideas with the community members.
Notable amongst those who graced this sessions are Gbolabo Awelewa and Samuel Onaghise discussing salient topics and issues. From feedback, we strongly believe these sessions have helped many discover their paths and stay updated on how to be better in their cybersecurity journey.
3. Cybersecurity Meetup (Abuja & Lagos)
Going further into the year, we knew we couldn’t leave the community high and dry, so we had cybersecurity meetups in the major cities of Nigeria, Abuja and Lagos. The meetups were held on the 27th August in Abuja and 4th of September in Lagos, featuring fireside chats from industry experts, games with lots of giveaways and massive turnout resulting in valuable networking that has and still yielding positive feedbacks.
4. National Cyber Security Awareness Month
2022 CyberSecurity Awareness month for DoH was tagged ‘Sabi Cyber’ in collaboration with National Cybersecurity Alliance & KnowB4. This event turned out to be a massive campaign that hit Nigeria as a country and indeed saw some traction from other neighboring African countries.
This campaign was well planned and coordinated to reach out to 10,000 secondary school students in the 6 Geo-political zones in Nigeria, and also reach out as many netizens as possible to spread the gospel of Cyber Safety to them. This turned out to be massive success as we recorded a stunning amount of volunteers all around the country and especially from the community who were absolutely eager to be a part of the Outreach as an opportunity to give back to their immediate environment by educating folks both young and old on ‘how to stay safe online’ whilst also telling on the consequences of cyber crime.
For us as a community, the outcome of the campaign based on the statistics analyzed were nothing short of dazzling. And this will and has pushed us to even do better next time. Anticipate October 2023.
5. Advent of Cyber
“Advent of Cyber is an event that gets people started in cyber security, by releasing beginner friendly security exercises every day leading up to Christmas.” — THM
So to boost more networking, Interaction and healthy competition amongst the community members across Africa, DoH created it own version of the advent of cyber competition leveraging on the THM to promote and encourage capacity building.
The 1st position is @theCyberwolf from Nigeria with 793 pts, 2nd Place @Droneplay from Nigeria with 788 pts and 3rd place @Galahad from Cameroon with 766 pts.
6. Hack July
HackJuly was a great platform for the community members as they embarked on a 31 Days of Hacking challenge through the month of July. The program featured hacking live targets ethically using SQL Injection, OSINT amongst others. Having close to 70 participants this year. Just like it takes a network to defeat a network, we will continually provide engaging programs to train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
7. Cybersecurity Career Fair
Wrapping up the year, we understood that the community only thrives when there is an opportunity to be placed strategically where they explore and hone their skills, so we had a sequel of our first ever Cyber Security Career fair 2.0.
This was ultimately aimed at making enthusiasts and entry level professionals in cybersecurity understand the market demands and what it takes to get the attention of an employer. Cutting edge speakers with eye-opening points spoke to the audience of people we had online and made them realize how to refine their skills to be more presentable in the marketplace, and how to land that high paying job. Opportunities were also opened up for some of the attendees.
9. Quick Wins
i. Awards and Recognitions: It is a general saying that “Recognition is not a scarce resource, you can’t use it up or run out of it. Though greatly rewarding it is to be recognized, it doesn’t come cheaply as it’s a result of hard work and excellence”. The year 2022 saw the DoH community, its founder and some key members being recognized for excellence demonstrated over time.
In May, Blacks In Cybersecurity, a meetup group and conference series aimed at helping to highlight and elevate the Black community in Cybersecurity, recognized and awarded DoH as the winner of the Best Community category award 2022.
Also our community lead/founder was nominated alongside some great minds for the Young CISO Awards. The Cybersecurity Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) also awarded him with the “Rising Star of the year award”. These and others notable of mention are an indication that we are indeed headed the right direction
ii. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Integrity and Zero Tolerance Clubs Operational Manual Launch: As a community poised to achieving a less criminal space on the internet, particularly for the nation Nigeria; which is considered a haven for cyber criminality, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of Nigeria recognised DOH as stakeholder in jointly keeping the Nations Cyberspace free from all types of Internet Fraud and Cyber crime. DoH was duly invited to launching of the manual by EFCC.
iii. Volunteering: A core mandate of Diary of Hackers is to provide opportunity for the community members and make ready the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. This was demonstrated in collaboration with the industry associations. Some of the DoH community members volunteered in the most prestigious cybersecurity conferences hosted by ISACA and CSEAN. Reviews from the organizing body pointed to the fact that DoH did well in various capacities of volunteering to make the conferences a success.
iv. Placements, Internships Vouchers and Certifications: At DoH, we believe in empowering our community members with the needed opportunities capable of causing a shift in their cybersecurity journeys. One major way we help to achieve this feat is connecting members with organizations offering placements and opportunities. In 2022, some of our members got placements within and outside Africa and we were able to secure about 91 training vouchers (Hack The Box, PentesterLab, TryHackMe, ISACA) which worth about $2500
v. Intercommunity Collaboration: In a bid to secure better and broader opportunities for community members, Diary Of Hackers was represented at the maiden edition of CMfest Africa and 2022 DevFest Minna.
DoH Community was also invited to the following twitter spaces to discuss
- Cybersecurity and the Darkweb Hosted by Infomatix
- Cybersecurity and Web3 Hosted by Cypher.dog
v. Community Growth: Delivering value and excellence for us as a community is being passed across through different platforms. From last year till date, we’ve seen an increase in membership across all of these platforms. A breakdown can be found below;
- Community members — 839
- Twitter followers — 5,811
- LinkedIn followers — 3,620
- YouTube subscribers — 665
- Facebook followers — 554
- Instagram followers — 263
10. Community Members Review
We requested feedback from the community members and here are some review;
I actually feel like DOH ticked all boxes this year, like I can’t even say add this to your activities or something. Since I joined DOH community months ago, I have pinned the WhatsApp group page to the top and I have never had the cause to unpin it.
The amount of resources been shared in the community has helped me alot to learn relearn and unlearn, and also the community serve as a cradle where i feel free to ask whatever I’m finding difficult which has helped alot in my journey in CyberSecurity.
The energy is ecstatic. There’s always someone to answer that question you have. It’s just amazing plus the cruise as well 😂
I love the fact that there’s unity on the platforms and one can actually get help from peers and expert.
Among the many things I appreciate most the opportunities I get from being a member of the community Also Through this medium , I was able to get a remote internship, of which on my ownself it might not have come easily….
11. Special Shout out
We can’t but thank our sponsors, donors and some individuals for their support and unwavering love shown towards the growth of Diary of Hackers.
Special thanks to Trend Micro, ISACA Abuja, Afenoid, AlphaSeven, Bekonta, Digital Footprints, CSEAN, Experis Immersive, GitHub, Hack The Box, Pentester Lab, NACOS National, Nile University, TECNO SRC, CyberPlural, Esentry, DAPT, HackSAS. And to the ever supportive industry professionals, we say a very big thank you.
Special shout out to the community members for their corporation and support. To the wonderful volunteers and core team members, thank you for making this possible. Cheers to more impact
12. Sneak Peek into the Coming Year
The DoH Community had an amazing run for the year, and we strongly believe the coming year has a lot in store. As always we are in the business of transforming lives through our initiatives and this coming year will not be an exemption. Here are a few highlights for 2023:
- To execute projects as an incorporated non-profit organization
- To organize the largest cybersecurity conference in Africa
- To organize meetups in different cities and institutions of Africa
- To organize a bootcamp for young cybersecurity professionals
- To create awareness for vulnerable people with digital access in Africa
- To provide more entry level jobs and placement for community members
- To organize an Inter School Cybersecurity Competition
- To create cybersecurity PODCast Interview
Thank you so much for reading.