July 21, 2024

Empowering Women in Cybersecurity: WIIT and Bugv Successfully Host Hackathon

On June 14, 2024, Women in Information Technology (WIIT) Nepal organized an inspiring cybersecurity hackathon at WhiteHouse College in Tinkune, Kathmandu, in collaboration with Nepal Telecom and supported by Himalayan WhiteHouse College. Bugv, the technical partner, played a crucial role in making this event a success. The hackathon aimed to empower women and boost their participation in the cybersecurity field, offering a unique platform for learning, engagement, and practical experience.

The event began with a warm welcome from the WIIT team, who outlined the event’s objectives and schedule. The atmosphere was filled with excitement as participants, primarily female students from various institutions, gathered to dive into the world of cybersecurity. Nepal Telecom’s involvement added significant value, while Himalayan WhiteHouse College provided essential support for the event.

A team from Bugv, including Security Analysts Apil Chand, Nirdesh Rayamajhi, Samrat Sitaula, and Hrithik Bhagat, kicked off the event with an engaging and informative session on cybersecurity awareness. They covered fundamental topics such as identifying various types of cyber attacks, the importance of cybersecurity in today’s digital landscape, and practical strategies for protection. Through real-life examples and interactive discussions, the Bugv team made the complex topic of cybersecurity both accessible and intriguing for the participants.

The centerpiece of the hackathon was the Capture the Flag (CTF) challenges. These challenges were designed to provide participants with hands-on experience in solving cybersecurity problems. Divided into teams, participants faced a series of tasks that involved cracking codes, uncovering vulnerabilities, and capturing digital flags. The challenges not only tested their technical skills but also promoted teamwork, strategic thinking, and problem-solving under pressure.

Here is the CTF scoreboard of the event.

 

Throughout the day, participants demonstrated remarkable dedication and enthusiasm. For many, this was their first deep dive into practical cybersecurity exercises. The supportive environment created by WIIT, Nepal Telecom, Himalayan WhiteHouse College, and Bugv enabled everyone to learn at their own pace, ask questions, and share insights. As they tackled the CTF challenges, participants gained confidence in their abilities and a deeper understanding of cybersecurity concepts.

The event concluded with a prize distribution ceremony, celebrating the top-performing teams and individuals. Awards were given not just for technical excellence but also for creativity, teamwork, and perseverance. The smiles and applause during the ceremony reflected the sense of achievement and camaraderie developed throughout the day.

This cybersecurity hackathon was more than just a competition; it was a pivotal experience for many young women, igniting their passion for cybersecurity and technology. The initiative by WIIT and Nepal Telecom, with the support of Himalayan WhiteHouse College and the technical expertise of Bugv, highlighted the importance of providing women with opportunities to explore and excel in technical fields. By addressing the gender gap in cybersecurity, this event aimed to inspire a new generation of female cybersecurity professionals.

The hackathon’s success underscored the critical role of targeted educational programs in empowering women. As organizations like WIIT, Nepal Telecom, and Himalayan WhiteHouse College, along with technical partners like Bugv, continue to support and nurture female talent in technology, the future of cybersecurity looks promising and inclusive. Participants left the event not only with new skills and knowledge but also with a sense of belonging and motivation to pursue careers in cybersecurity.

Here are the pictures of the event.

 

This hackathon demonstrated the power of collaboration and the impact of dedicated efforts to create opportunities for women in technology. It set the stage for a more diverse and dynamic cybersecurity community in Nepal, where women are active contributors and leaders. The positive feedback from participants and the enthusiastic atmosphere throughout the event signal a bright future for women in cybersecurity, inspired and supported by initiatives like this.

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