By Abdallah el-Kurebe
A professor of Information and Cyber Security with Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA, Kayode Alese says the ongoing war against terrorism, banditry and other serious crimes can only be won by security agencies, through the application of cyber security and cutting edge Information and Communication Technology, ICT.
He gave the advice while delivering the 117th Inaugural Lecture of the university with a title: “Securing the World in Digital Age: The Metaphor of an Unending Game” on Tuesday.
Alese urged the government to invest heavily in Cyber security, digital mapping training for operatives of military, and paramilitary and other security agencies and also “tap the expertise of egg-heads in the ivory towers in the ongoing drive to rid the country of terrorism and other serious crimes.”
According to him, kidnapping, banditry and terrorism wars in the 21st Century cannot be adequately won without the knowledge and application of cyber security by security operatives since perpetrators of most crimes also engage in digital warfare.
Alese stated that ways of perpetuating cybercrime include hacking, virus dissemination, logic bombs, denial of service attack, phishing, email bombing and spamming, web jacking, cyber stalking and software piracy.
The Don said fighting against insurgency and cybercrimes cannot be totally successful without adequate intelligence gathering and deployment of cyber security mechanisms.
“Since the nation intends to take a leap into IOT (Internet of Things) and smart nation era, it has to brace up to attendant attacks and be well prepared for it by joining the global trend in investment and researches in cyber security.
“Cybercrime has overtime added its quota to the diminishing positive perception of Nigerians in the international community,” he stressed.
The lecturer said the progressive use of computers over the years had placed the daily living of man in the hands of ICT, as all critical infrastructures like water, transportation, electricity health and weapons of Warfare, are totally leveraged on ICT, adding that this has come along with attendant challenges such as security and intrusion of privacy.
Alese said there has been no such time that the security of individuals, institutions and nations, “have been under serious threats due to the rising level of sophistication and advancement of ICT, which has the power of neutralizing and demobilizing physical weapons, as most of these modern war weapons, are nowadays leveraged on technology.”
The Don recommended that the National Assembly should work with Cyber Security Professionals and Legal Practitioners to evolve a robust Cyber-crime law for Nigeria as it is being done in developed world, because the current one is deficient in so many areas.
He also called for collaboration between the experts in cyber security and related fields and security agencies.
Alese pointed out that cyber-attacks were becoming increasingly sophisticated with attackers using ever-expanding variety of tactics, including social engineering, malware and ransomware.
According to the Don, “usually, cyber attackers seek some type of benefit and will invest in various techniques, tools and technology to activate their motives.
“A strong cyber security structure and policy is a key defense against cyber failures, errors and malicious cyber-attacks.”
On the way forward, Alese said it has become imperative to introduce courses in cyber security awareness in all Nigerian Universities and other tertiary institutions, “as security has become a major challenge to Information Technology and by extension, frontiers of human development.”
He said the world security has taken a holistically new dimension of games between attackers and defenders therefore government must put in place strategies to combat attacks in any critical infrastructure when it arises.
In his remarks at the occasion, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape, described the lecturer as an astute academic who has served the University in various capacities.
He said Professor Alese stands out in his field of study, having churned out a member of graduates and post graduates students and contributed significantly to the development of the university and human capital development.