2021 was a huge year for Diary of Hackers (DoH) — not only for our team but for the entire community at large, without which, DoH will be in nonexistence. Though the year came with its ups and downs, there were other positive gains worthy of mentioning.
The Need for the Initiative
Our initiative focuses on Cybersecurity and at the same time responds to the urgent demand for trained Cybersecurity talent in Africa while recognizing the importance of providing students and enthusiasts with knowledge and skills in this exciting and critical field. Also, to further enhance their professional development through different activities which include but are not limited to Interview sessions, Cyber-up practical sessions, learn-with-peers, campus meetups, certifications, mentorship and other engaging activities.
A rough ride through the year’s activities
Conferences are a way of listening first hand to those who are experts in a particular field, meet and network with others while being open to new opportunities. The year 2021 saw DoH organizing two of such, the Minna Cybersecurity Meetup A hybrid conference that records over 300 participants and 15+ speakers from around the world and the 2021 Cybersecurity Career Fair which features the first Cybersecurity Inter-University Debate, CareerTalks and Workshops. These conferences were held in May and December respectively.
2. Interview with Experts
To further enhance the professional development of the community members, five (5) Interview sessions were held with experts in the field of Cybersecurity, all in a bid to share their personalized stories and ideas.
We had three (3) Cybertalks sessions which were centered on Cybersecurity careers
1. Beyond Cybersecurity: Exploring Other Options
2. Building Competencies for Employability
3. Leveraging Social Media for Opportunities
Cyberup is an activity of Diary of Hackers where we give our members an avenue to showcase their skills and knowledge to other members of the community in an aspect they are well familiar with. Check it out here
5. Learn With Peers
One way to learn faster and better is to have peers who you can learn together, learn with peers is an avenue where community members can take courses and certification together, study together to achieve a task in a stipulated time. This year, some DoH members embark on a 25-day learning adventure in the TryHackMe Advent of Cyber 3 with 169 participant and over 2000 messages exchanged.
5. HackTheBox Nigeria Meetup
In what appeared to be a new addition, DoH Community Lead and another Team member were appointed as organizers of HackTheBox Meetup in Nigeria. The purpose of this meet-up is to meet other infosec enthusiasts, discuss, exchange knowledge regarding cybersecurity, hack dedicated machines. Three of such meetups happened this year with over 70 participants in attendant virtually. You can join us here
6. Placements and Certifications
One of DoH’s mandate is to assist community members get opportunities in organizations that needs skilled cybersecurity enthusiasts/students. This year we were able to secure three (3) Internship placement for some of the community members in CyberPlural and Afenoid.
Fifteen (15) community members of Diary of Hackers were certified with the EC Council Certified Secured Computer User (EC|CSCU) for free as sponsored by CYSEC NG. In addition, many members of the DoH Community were gifted the Cyber Denfense Starter course by Cyberation.io
7. University Meetups
Diary of Hackers has presence in six (6) tertiary institution in Nigeria which are 1. Federal University of Technology Minna, 2. Federal University of Technology Akure, 3. Bayero University Kano, 4. Bowen University Iwo, 5. University of Portharcourt and Ekiti State University with a total of ten (10) meetups in 2021. Ekiti State University had a 30days Offensive and 30days Defensive Security hands-on training where the students where trained via the PentesterLab and RangeForce platforms.
9. Other activities
Diary of hackers hosted the Cyber Week Africa — The Cybersecurity Festival of Africa organized by Cyber In Africa where the special guest discussed the Art of Cybersecurity.
8. Membership Growth across platforms
Activities in the year 2021 saw an increase in membership across all platforms. Below is a breakdown;
· Community members 588
· LinkedIn followers — 1, 103
· YouTube subscribers — 436
· Twitter followers — 1, 505
· Core volunteers — 12
· University chapters — 6
A peep into the year 2022
We believe in 2022, we will have more collaborations to achieve more; ensuring quality of our media productions, helping more people get into cybersecurity and have great activities across Africa. Some of our highlights for 2022 are;
- Launch our first Cybersecurity Book — Diary of Hackers v1
- Start a Cybersecurity Podcast series — The Intercept
- Have an Impactful Cyber Starters Conference
- Have Monthly HackTheBox Meetups
- Have Monthly CyberUp Series
- Have Monthly Expert Interviews
- Have Cybersecurity BootCamps in University we’re present in
- Expand to other Universities in Nigeria
- Have regular Learn With Peers events
- Start a Blog — The Easy Sec News
- Have a pool of mentors
- Get more people certified
- Get more placement for community members
All this and more we hope to achieve with your support and collaboration come 2022.
Special thanks to the team members for their selfless service to this initiative. We would love to thank the following brand for their support Digiss LLC, iSecurData, Cyber In Africa, Cyberation, CySec NG, CSEAN, CyberPlural, Motiv8, CyberSafe Foundation, The Boss Arena, GoldBars, JD Lab, Univelcity, KnowBe4, CyberDome, ISACA Abuja Chapter, XLNC, LynSec, TEDxMinna, and Zumaroc. Also, A very big thank you to the industry professionals who have supported us one way or the other.
Thank you so much for reading.