Strathmore Student Imo Muganda Privileged to Attend ISACA Annual Conference
Strathmore University student Imo Muganda was privileged to attend the 2012 ISACA (formerly known as Information Systems Audit and Control Association) Kenya Annual Conference that took place at Sarova Whitesands, in Mombasa.
The theme of the conference was dubbed; Secure Kenya– ICT Policies, Standards, Regulations, and Legislation.
Managers of the conference worked at providing greater exposure for the organization to students in addition to sponsoring some students to attend the event. I was fortunate to be nominated to represent the university in this capacity.
Some of the key IT industry experts that attended the conference included Mr. Joe Mucheru – Cabinet Secretary Ministry of ICT; Dr. Catherine Gitau – Secretary to the ICT Authority; and Dr. James Boyd McFie – Director Strathmore School of Accounting.
ISACA is an international professional association focused on IT Governance established in the 1960s in the USA by IT professionals who felt that their roles in their organizations were becoming of greater importance to the success of those organizations. It was created to be a source of IT related information and guidance. ISACA has over 110,000 constituents (holders of ISACA certificates) in over 180 countries in the world.
ISACA the Kenyan chapter was founded in 1999 by a group of volunteers. It is known for having high rates of new membership; once recognized for having the second largest percentage growth in the world.
ISACAs functions fall into two main categories; governance and education. Under governance, they provide practical guidance, benchmarks and other effective tools for all enterprises that use information systems. These include the widely used COBIT framework.
Under education, ISACA offer professional certifications in IT management which include; CISA, CISM, CGEIT, and CRISC.
Many topics covering various issues in IT were presented at the conference.
One presentation focused on the implications of the Critical Infrastructure Bill. It was presented by Stanley Manduku, CFE. The bill was passed in Parliament last year. Critical infrastructure refers to any infrastructure whether private or public whose continued access and function is considered to be crucial to the public. This used to apply mostly to roads, energy, and water utilities but has lately come to include IT related infrastructure such as cables and data centers. The bill, among other things, will require any private owner of such infrastructure to register with the government and report any incidents that damage or may threaten to damage the infrastructure. It also lays out severe punishment for anyone who damages or incites damage to the infrastructure.
This was one of many interesting topics I got to listen to at the conference.
Speaking to other students who attended the conference, I also learnt that ISACA student groups existed in other universities as clubs. Additionally, I got to learn about the gainful benefits ISACA offers to student. The organization takes in student members at a much lower fee than full members who get to network in a community of which hundreds of universities around the world are involved. The members, as part of a university club, get mentorship from ISACA and are able to use the organizations vast knowledge center. Furthermore, the students are given access to ISACAs online career center, where they can post their CVs and possibly get worthwhile jobs and internships.
Attending this conference expanded my knowledge not only through the interesting topics presented, but also through simply talking to the other attendees and the students. I was exposed to the many opportunities available to us through ISACA. I hope to involve many of my classmates and the school at large in ISACAs programs knowing that it will enrich our education and be of great benefit.
Article by student Imo Muganda.