Ethical Hacking And Cyber Security In Nigerian Telecommunication Industry: Issues And Solutions

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Ethical Hacking And Cyber Security In Nigerian Telecommunication Industry: Issues And Solutions


Abstract


In this study, our focus was on ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigerian telecommunication industry: issues and solutions, MTN Nigeria as case study. The study is was specifically focused on examining the issues of ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigeria telecommunication industry; examining the solutions to the issues of ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigeria telecommunication industry and determining the level of effectiveness of ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigerian telecommunication industry.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 32 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are staff of MTN Nigeria. Data collected were analysed using frequencies and percentages. These frequencies and percentages enabled the researcher to clearly represent true data characteristics and findings with a great deal of accuracy. Interpretation and analysis of data was also used to describe items in tables and charts used for this study.

The study has the following findings; Nigeria’s cyber space is much secured, there are issues associated with hacking in the telecommunication industry, ethical hacking is very effective in the telecommunication industry, there are solutions to the issues of ethical hacking in telecommunication industry.

This research will educate the stakeholders in the telecommunication industry and the general public on how ethical hacking can be used in cyber security to protect against cyber crime.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The world as we have today is fast evolving into a global village. This is due to the dynamism of the internet and technology. Virtually every aspect of our human lives including economic growth, commerce, governance, communication, exchange of ideas, education, research and development, banking, and financial transactions currently runs in the cyberspace. However, the activities of cyber-thieves or hackers are increasingly becoming more and more sophisticated every day, and these activities pose an enormous security threats to the internet and information abound in the cyberspace. (Lucas, 2017). Cybersecurity is the protection or guarding of computer systems against theft or harm to the hardware, software or information, as well as from interruption or misleading and incorrect commands of the services they offer. (Gasser, 1988).

According to CYBERPEDIA (2017), Cybersecurity is the preventive method or approach used to guard the integrity and reliability of networks, programs, and data from damage, attack, or unauthorized access. It includes protecting information and systems against fundamental cyber threats, like cyber terrorism, cyber warfare, and cyber espionage. Cybersecurity refers to the set of technologies, procedures, and applications aimed to protect networks, computers, programs, and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. In a computing perspective, security includes both cybersecurity and physical security. (WhatIs.com, 2016).

Ethical hackers use the same methods and techniques to test and bypass a system’s defenses as their less-principled counterparts, but rather than taking advantage of any vulnerabilities found, they document them and provide actionable advice on how to fix them so the organization can improve its overall security (Laura, 1995). The purpose of ethical hacking is to evaluate the security of a network or system’s infrastructure. It entails finding and attempting to exploit any vulnerabilities to determine whether unauthorized access or other malicious activities are possible. Vulnerabilities tend to be found in poor or improper system configuration, known and unknown hardware or software flaws, and operational weaknesses in process or technical countermeasures. One of the first examples of ethical hacking occurred in the 1970s, when the United States government used groups of experts called “red teams” to hack its own computer systems (Laura, 1995). It has become a sizable sub-industry within the information security market and has expanded to also cover the physical and human elements of an organization’s defenses. A successful test doesn’t necessarily mean a network or system is 100% secure, but it should be able to withstand automated attacks and unskilled hackers.

Deterring cybercrime is an integral component of a national cybersecurity and critical information infrastructure protection strategy. In particular, this includes the adoption of appropriate legislation against the misuse of ICTs for criminal or other purposes and activities intended to affect the integrity of national critical infrastructures (Adebusuyi, 2008). At the national level, this is a shared responsibility requiring coordinated action related to prevention, preparation, response and recovery from incidents on the part of government authorities, the private sector and citizens.

The exceptional outbreak of cyber-crime in Nigeria telecommunication industry in recent times was quite alarming, and the negative impact on the socio-economy of the country is highly disturbing. Over the past fifteen years, immoral cyberspace users have continued to use the internet to commit crimes; this has evoked mixed feelings of admiration and fear in the general populace along with a growing unease about the state of cyber and personal security (Oliver, 2010). This phenomenon has seen sophisticated and extraordinary increase recently and has called for quick response in providing laws that would protect the cyber space and its users.

Some years ago, the first cyber murder was perpetrated in the United States. According to the Indian Express, in January 2002, an underworld don was scheduled to have minor surgery in a hospital. His competitor went on to hire a computer specialist who hacked the hospital’s computer system and changed his prescriptions. An unwitting nurse gave him the tampered medication, which resulted in the patient’s death. Every day since 2006, there has been a type of cyber-crime perpetrated somewhere in the world. Prior to 2001, Nigeria was not well linked with the concept of cyber-crime. This corresponds to the fact that, at the same time, we in Nigeria realized the full power of the internet. Since then, however, the country has gained a global reputation for criminal activities, particularly financial frauds, which are made possible by the usage of telecommunications services. Nigerian cyber criminals invent new techniques of committing this type of crime on a regular basis, and the traditional means of tracing them are no longer enough to deal with their new tactics (Adebusuyi, 2008). The victims are becoming increasingly gullible and ignorant about the opportunities offered by these con artists. The goal of this study is to provide an overview of ethical hacking and cyber-security in the Nigerian telecommunications business, as well as to identify specific issues and provide solutions.

Nigeria’s National Assembly took a big step in the fight against cybercrime in 2014 when the Senate enacted the Cybercrime Bill. This achievement, together with the Office of the National Security Adviser’s (NSA) cyber security strategy and policy papers, will help to boost cyber security.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The issue of cyber security is one that has been discussed by many people with various perspectives on the issue, most coming at it from different sides than the others. Cyber-crimes have gone beyond conventional crimes and now have threatening ramifications to the national security of all countries, even to technologically developed countries as the United States. The illegal act may be targeted at a computer network or devices e.g., computer virus, denial of service attacks (DOS), malware (malicious code). the illegal act may be facilitated by computer network or devices with target independent of the computer network or device”. However, ethical hacking has been used by various telecommunication companies to cover the loophole and this study is providing an overview on the issues and the solutions.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of this study:

  1. To examine the issues of ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigeria telecommunication industry.
  2. To examine the solutions to the issues of ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigeria telecommunication industry.
  3. To determine the level of effectiveness of ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigerian telecommunication industry.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Is ethical hacking and cyber security practiced in Nigeria telecommunication industry?
  2. What are the solutions to the issues of hacking and cyber crime in Nigeria telecommunication industry?
  3. What is the level of effectiveness of ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigerian telecommunication industry?

1.6 Significance of the Study

The following are the significance of this study:

  1. The findings from this study will educate the stakeholders in the telecommunication industry and the general public on how ethical hacking can be used in cyber security to protect against cyber crime.
  2. This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.

1.7 Scope / Limitations of the Study

This study will cover the issues and solution relating to ethical hacking and cyber security in the Nigerian telecommunication industry.

Limitation of Study
Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


1.9 Organizations of the Study

The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.

The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigerian telecommunication industry: issues and solutions, MTN Nigeria as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigerian telecommunication industry: issues and solutions, MTN Nigeria as case study. The study is was specifically focused on examining the issues of ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigeria telecommunication industry; examining the solutions to the issues of ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigeria telecommunication industry and determining the level of effectiveness of ethical hacking and cyber security in Nigerian telecommunication industry.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 32 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are staff ofMTN Nigeria.


5.3 Conclusions

With respect to the analysis and the findings of this study, the following conclusions emerged;

  1. Nigeria’s cyber space is much secured.
  2. There are issues associated with hacking in the telecommunication industry.
  3. Ethical hacking is very effective in the telecommunication industry.
  4. There are solutions to the issues of ethical hacking in telecommunication industry.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings the researcher recommends that;

  1. Cyber security must be addressed seriously as it is affecting the image of the country in the outside world. A combination of sound technical measures tailored to the origin of Spam (i.e. the sending ends) in conjunction with legal deterrents will be a good start in the war against cyber criminals. Information attacks can be launched by anyone, from anywhere. The attackers can operate without detection for years and can remain hidden from any counter measures”. This indeed emphasizes the need for the government security agencies to note that there is need to keep up with technological and security advancements. It will always be a losing battle if security professionals are miles behind the cyber criminals. Fighting cybercrime requires a holistic approach to combat this menace in all ramifications. There is need to create a security-aware culture involving the public, the Internet Service Providers (ISPs), cybercafés, government, security agencies and internet users. Also in terms of strategy, it is crucial to thoroughly address issues relating to enforcement. However, Mishandling of enforcement can backfire.
  2. To ensure sustainable growth, the sector is in need of reform. Previous changes (e.g. the Nigerian Communications Act 2003) are outdated as they focus on how voice calls are regulated and not on matters that relate to the new technological era. The focus today should cover competition in the sector, the market and other services the telecom sector is linked closely to such as finance, technology and media services. The current government has shown its commitments in creating an enabling environment for the private sector to contribute innovative solutions to allow consumers to benefit from Information Communication Technology (ICT) advancements. This will in turn bring about efficiency and productivity in the telecom sector and eventually enhance economic growth.
  3. Although the telecommunication industry has gone through turmoil, it can bounce back from its recent challenges and boost economic growth. With the sixth consecutive decline in year on year inflation and the simultaneous appreciation of the naira, the sector will see a steady growth in its activities. To drive economic growth, it needs to establish new reforms and review existing policies and regulatory actions to monitor the health of the sector. To ensure long term growth and sustainability there is a need to improve on general business processes/practices to create new revenue streams, recreate existing products, diversify into new areas for which the resources and capabilities are available and establish a minimum market price.

Ethical Hacking And Cyber Security In Nigerian Telecommunication Industry: Issues And Solutions


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Ethical Hacking And Cyber Security In Nigerian Telecommunication Industry: Issues And Solutions


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