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She’s a hacker, but an ethical one – Meet Joylynn Kirui

Written by Editor


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Microsoft Senior Cloud Security Advocate Joylynn Kirui is what is known as a ‘white hat’ – an ethical hacker. Her job is to do everything a hacker would do to compromise a system and she’s always had consistent success doing so. The Africa Tech Week speaker has hacked into everything. It’s no wonder she was named Hacker of the Year in 2020 and recognised as a finalist in the Top 50 Women in Cybersecurity in the same year.

In the latest Business Unusual Podcast, we engage in conversation with Joylynn about why businesses hire hackers and how the African continent is faring on the cybersecurity front. She shares with us the importance of developers, businesses and consumers being aware of security threats and protecting personal data.


Key takeaways from this podcast:

  • “A hacker has to be lucky only once”
  • We don’t care enough about cybersecurity
  • It’s important for business to anonymise their customer’s data
  • Customers need to protect themselves too
  • Developers are the first-line of defence
  • “If you don’t have security incorporated into your system it’s like you build a very beautiful house and you leave it without doors and you leave it without windows”
  • In cybersecurity, the more things change the more they stay the same
  • Black Hats compromise a system for their own benefit; White Hats are given permission to compromise a system


Joylynn Kirui is a Microsoft Senior Cloud Security Advocate based in Kenya. A computer science graduate of the United States International University-Africa, she was previously an assurance officer at Safaricom, after having held positions as a SOC analyst and information systems auditor. Joylynn’s work involves empowering developers and businesses to make their systems more secure in what she calls “developer relations”. Drawn to cybersecurity after being hacked in university, she now shares her knowledge through training and mentorship.


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