Cybersecurity Education, Training & Skills Development Under the Condition of COVID-19 Restrictions in 3 SADC Member States (Botswana, Lesotho and Malawi)

The aims of this project are:

1. To explore challenges and opportunities experienced by cybersecurity awareness raising initiatives in selected SADC countries under the condition of COVID-19 Restrictions

2. Make policy recommendations on how local and regional programmes can be improved to accommodate the need for strengthening cybersecurity mindset and awareness initiatives.

Part of the project ‘Cybersecurity Capacity Centre for Southern Africa (C3SA)‘.

Research idea:

The world came to a stand-still when governments across the globe decided to enter states of emergency or disaster over the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The responses to the pandemic included stringent movement restrictions and hygiene advice preventing face to face interactions. This research investigates how the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the delivery of cybersecurity knowledge in Southern Africa. The research will employ the lens of the Cybersecurity Capacity Maturity Model for Nations (CMM), in particular the “Dimension 3: Cybersecurity Education, Training and Skills”. Dimension 3 “reviews the availability of cybersecurity awareness raising programmes for both the public and executives. Moreover, it evaluates the availability, quality, and uptake of educational and training offerings for various groups of government stakeholders, private sector, and the population as a whole”. The research seeks especially to examine how the cybersecurity education, training and skills in three selected African countries (i.e., Botswana, Lesotho, and Mauritius) was adapted to accommodate the restrictions imposed in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. The research aims to determine challenges and opportunities displayed by the systems of cybersecurity education, training and skills in these countries under the condition of COVID-19 restrictions.

Study question: 

The primary research question for the study is:

What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of cybersecurity education, training and skills in Southern Africa? 

Secondary questions are:

1. What cybersecurity awareness raising programmes, curricula changes or training were conducted during OR prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
2. How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the delivery of cybersecurity education and training?
3. Have programmes on information and network security improved (in terms of number, scope, and quality) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak?
4. What are the challenges and opportunities education institutions and structures encountered when moving education to online in response to COVID-19 outbreak?
5. What lessons can be learnt to possibly improve Dimension 3 of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model for Nations?

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