On the 16th to 19th of September almost a hundred IT professionals, IS auditors and Information security enthusiasts from Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi gathered in Arusha for Cyber Defence East Africa 2014 (CDEA2014) - the second annual NRD East Africa and ISACA Tanzania Chapter conference. The main theme for the sessions and discussions this year was Fighting against Financial and Data Privacy Crime.

Opening the conference, Mr Pereira Ame Silima - a deputy Minister for Home Affairs at The Government of The United Republic of Tanzania - stressed that "Cyber security has become a global threat which needs an urgent attention at national, regional and international level". He also noted that "a number of things, both proactive and reactive can be done to create a safer digital environment for all of us" and encouraged the participants to recognise their duty to work consistently and as a team towards the development of cyber security in their organisations and East Africa in general.

According to the CEO of NRD East Africa Mr. Sebastian Marondo, this year the organisers focused on bringing the sessions closer to the issues specific to the East African region. Their goal was to engage and connect the largest organizations and companies from Tanzania and East Africa in general, regulators, legislators, law enforcement agencies and the national Tanzanian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) by offering them a platform for an open discussion regarding the current situation of cyber security challenges in East Africa, opportunities and possible ways forward.

From Tanzania, the speakers who shared their views during this event were: Mr. Stephen Magesa from Tanzania Police Cyber Crime Department, Mr. Bryton Focus from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority - Tanzania Computer Emergency Response Team (TZ-CERT), Mr. Boniface Kanemba - President of ISACA Tanzania Chapter, Dr. Adam Mambi from the Law Reform Commission of Tanzania, Peter Basiwe from company 4Pay, Mr. Sebastian Marondo and Mr. Tomas Seikus from NRD EA.

International speakers include Mr. Hussein Isingoma - President of ISACA Kampala Chapter, Dr. Vilius Benetis from NRD cybersecurity excellence center - NRD CS, Mr. Martynas Buozis from NRD Cybersecurity Incident Response Team (CIRT), Mr. Goran Opranica, director of Insig2 - a leading European company in the field of digital evidence and digital forensic education as well as Mr. Garreth Scott from AccessData - the maker of the industry-standard computer forensics technology.

In addition, the conference had number of panellists who also shared their views and discussed the issues with the participants.

"I am very happy about the solidness of this conference - pooling together local as well as international expertise provided a realistic and inclusive overview of the cybercrime situation in East Africa as well as laid the ground for intensified cooperation to confront it", observed Mr. Boniface Kanemba, the president of ISACA Tanzania chapter. "For example, we have opened a dialog with ISACA Kampala Chapter regarding common regional initiatives in the future".

In order to maintain a holistic approach towards fighting cybercrime, the agenda was divided in two tracks and also involved high-tech demonstrations for security automation, digital forensics, private CIRT establishment inside an organisation, digital environment monitoring and analysis as well as examples and real-life case stories of technology implementation.

"It was really amazing; presenters were knowledgeable to the subject matter. Last session about Incident Management Simulation was a real bomb", one of the conference participants Mr. Samwel Charles Mujinja from Tanzania Revenue Authority shared his impressions on the social media.

In addition to the regular sessions, participants had a chance to question and challenge the presenters in daily panel discussions and the Gala Dinner. 30 CPE hours were awarded for attending the trainings - the highest number of CPE hours obtained in one event since the establishment of ISACA Tanzania Chapter.

The conference was attended by the representatives from East African Community, American and Russian Embassies, Tanzania government institutions such as the Office of the President, Tanzania Revenue Authority, Public Service Pensions Fund, National Identification Authority, National Audit Office, Tanzania Ports Authority, Tanesco as well as a number of banks and other public and private sector organisations.

Cyber Defence East Africa 2014 is an annual event organised by NRD EA, a part pf BAIP group, in partnership with ISACA Tanzania chapter. This year the conference was sponsored by BAIP group companies BAIP (platinum sponsor) and NRD CS which also lead some of the training sessions. Other sponsors: Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), modern digital forensics technology vendors AccessData Group and CRU, digital forensics trainings specialists Insig2 and internet connectivity providers SimbaNET.

BAIP group - a group of specialized companies working in the field of informatics and legal informatics. Main focus areas include business climate improvement reforms, integrated national information system design, critical IT infrastructure resilience, national cyber security and cyber defence. The group manages: BAIP, "Acena", "NRD", Norway Registers Development AS, Norway Registers East Africa Limited, and NRD CS. BAIP group operates and implements projects in the Central and Eastern Europe, East Africa, Southeast Asia and other regions. "INVL Technology", a split-off from an investment company "Invalda LT", owns 80 percent shares of BAIP group, the rest belongs to BAIP group management.