CyberGirls x TryHackMe: Supporting Girls Across Africa Enter the World of Cyber Security
The CyberGirls fellowship supports girls across Africa and Egypt to learn sought-after cyber security skills. We work with CyberGirls to enable these girls a route to skilled work in the field - here's how.
People living in communities with no stable electricity and internet access often don’t get to explore cyber security opportunities, why is why initiatives supporting them is so important. TryHackMe helped me thrive as I began my journey, learning the basics in an understandable, informative way and sparking my interest to learn more. I can’t wait to pursue a career and a brighter future.
TryHackMe operates solely online, entirely remotely. With this, it’s always been our passion to support people around the world - whatever their situation - in learning cyber security. We keep our prices at a minimal cost and logistically only require a browser for user access. We also support a range of incredible initiatives and charities in order to continue making training and cyber careers achievable to all. Today, we’re talking about CyberGirls.
What is CyberGirls?
CyberGirls is an initiative that works with girls between 18 and 28 across Africa and Egypt to learn globally sought-after cyber security skills. They run a seven-month programme to allow members to train in the field and secure work opportunities within Africa and the wider world.
The learning journey includes digital literacy, basic security concepts, and specialised pathways in threat intelligence, incident analysis, cloud security, and penetration testing.
CyberGirls’ objective is to improve the socio-economic well-being of girls and women living in underserved communities in Africa, by providing cyber security training, mentorship, and internship/job shadowing opportunities that can potentially lift them out of poverty.
After graduating from high school in Nigeria, Abigail Inyang joined the CyberGirls fellowship in May 2021. She first knew she wanted to explore cyber security at 14 years old, at a tech boot camp. She learned about cyber attacks and how her personal passwords could be hacked, finding the process fascinating. We spoke with Abigail to learn more about her learning journey, and how TryHackMe helped her learn.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in learning cyber security?
Living in a community with no access to stable electricity and internet is my biggest challenge - which is why companies like CyberGirls are so important. Depending on where you are in the world, your challenge can be a matter of learning, technical, or logistical. Whatever your situation, cyber security development should be made available.
How did TryHackMe help you learn?
Since starting with TryHackMe about six months ago, I have reached the top 2%, completed over 100 rooms, and have been hacking for well over 100 consecutive days. I have completed the initial training paths and look forward to completing the Offensive Pentesting learning path.
I found learning to be fantastic as a beginner, as the website was straightforward to navigate and learning was simple to follow with lots of detail and help where needed. I’ve gained knowledge including Metasploit, exploitation, post-exploitation, scanning networks, manipulating cookies, performing attacks like SQL injection, cryptography, encryption, and more.
What are your career goals and hopes for the future?
I have chosen to pursue penetration testing as a career path mainly due to being fascinated by the practical hacking aspects of cyber security. I prefer to learn practically over theoretically, and TryHackMe really helped me to achieve this.
In the near future, I will be undergoing certifications needed for jobs in cyber security. I practice every day to develop, and I hope to become one of the best penetration testers in my country. There are very few women in the field, and I would love to inspire other girls to pursue careers in cyber.
Toluwase Abiodun dropped out of school after some family tribulations regarding her father’s work. She started a job teaching young children in order to help support her family, earning $12 - approximately £9 - a month.
In 2021, Toluwase had a period of discovery - wanting a better life for herself and her family. She discovered a CyberGirls flyer, and although not yet intrigued by cyber security, decided to see what the programme was all about - she wanted to try something new.
She initially struggled with the basics of computers and wondered if she was following the right path, but persevered and pushed through. In seven months, she went from having minimal computer knowledge to understanding Nmap, SOC analyst responsibilities, and threat mitigation - which she hopes to transition into a job and build a better future.
Sometimes when I sit back, I think, this is not the same me that started cyber security. I can see a future. My future used to be blurry with nothing definite. I had no hope. Through learning cyber security with CyberGirls I have hope for my future. I will give my children and myself a better life.
It is genuinely humbling to learn about the stories and situations of our users across the globe. We strive to continue supporting CyberGirls and other initiatives helping those underrepresented groups enter our industry. With an increasingly high demand for cyber professionals globally, allowing people from all walks of life the opportunity to leverage this market is incredibly important to us.