National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy of
Nigeria: A Qualitative Analysis – Oluwafemi Osho and Agada D. Onoja

25 min read


Characteristic of human existence is the persistent, yet insatiable urge for the discovery and continual improvement of easier methods of goal attainment and execution of tasks. Brought by this limitless urge, was the development of a myriad of modern techniques and procedures, all coined under the all-encompassing term broadly referred to as technology. Undeniably, technology has innovatively improved human living standards and provided multi-faceted solutions to complex problems facing human existence.

Technological advancements have resulted in the attainment of a variety of remarkable milestones, many of which are in the area of Information and Communication Technologies. Over the past few decades, further research and development has led to the discovery of innovative computer technologies, which have enjoyed widespread adoption in the world over. The massive infiltration of computerization in modern times has increasingly left the world heavily reliant on computer technologies and networks. This can be seen in several facets of human civilization including but not limited to banking, education, commerce, business, healthcare, socialization and communication, which have metamorphosed from previously adopted conventional modes of operation to computerized techniques enjoying unprecedented acceptance levels.

The widespread adoption of these technologies has blazed like a wildfire and Nigeria as a nation is not left out of those favorably engulfed in its flames. The country has in the 21st century been one of the major consumers of information technologies in Africa, and can comparably match several other consumer countries in Europe and the Americas. A reflection of this can be seen in the high rate of foreign-based information technology giants establishing branches, as well as the growing amount of indigenous technology firms in Nigeria.

Nonetheless, articulated to the widespread use of these technologies are several downsides; one of which is the commission of crime with the aid of these technologies. The coherent existence of crime and criminality with human existence has resulted in the adoption of ICTs in the commission of a variety of crimes, thanks to the interwoven nature of human existence, crime and technology. Computer crimes and cyber crimes, whose commissions have proven highly prevalent in modern times, are in actuality, not more than digitalized versions of their conventional equivalents, operational in cyberspace. Odumesi (2014) adopted a working definition of cyber crime in Nigeria from the technological and sociological aspects, defining it as “a crime involving the abuse or misuse of digital resources in a cyber-environment on or through the internet, computer networks, computer systems and wireless communication systems.” Blitz (2009) defined cyber crime as “abuses and misuses of computer systems or computers connected to the
Internet, which result in direct and/or concomitant losses and also criminal activity that has been facilitated via the Internet.” Loader and Thomas (2000, p. 2) had explained, “Cyber crime can be regarded as computer-mediated activities which are illegal or considered illicit by certain parties and which can be conducted through global electronic networks”.

Conventional crimes can easier be curbed via physical measures involving detection, investigation, apprehension and prosecution, adopting traditional methods requiring the use of physical techniques however, when these crimes become digitalized, severe complications arise, making the solutions cumbersome or in some cases, infeasible to find. Digitalization of crimes have presented law enforcement agencies with mutations in onventional crime, resulting from the technicalities involved, advancements in crime commission methods, increased anonymity, reduced possibility of successful criminal profiling amongst others. Hence, traditional methods of solving crimes have become unhelpful with the computerization of these crimes.

Overwhelmed by the activities of cyber crime perpetrators, several countries, international organizations and initiatives have elevated issues of cyber security to the national level, reflecting its importance as a national security issue. Having a massive presence as an active participant in cyberspace, Nigeria is not left out as it has recorded a fair share of cybercrime incidents. Known for having a reputation of being a haven for the commission of computer-aided advanced fee fraud, widely referred to by the populace as “419” or “yahoo-yahoo” amongst other crimes, Nigeria’s cyber crime statistics is high and climbing. Long-term commission of these crimes has left Nigerians and foreigners alike overly cautious to the extent where legitimate interactions of all forms originating in, or concerned with Nigeria and across cyberspace are now characterized with increasing disbelief.

Being an issue of national priority in Nigeria, cyber security is now elevated to thelevel of being handled by the Presidency through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). A reflection of these could be seen in the presentation of the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy drafts by the above-mentioned office. What better results could these documents provide in terms of functionality and applicability to the Nigerian environment than those arrived at after a critical analysis of the developmental framework prior to its implementation.

Nigeria is interestingly at a defining moment in the establishment of a cyber-security policy and strategy framework. This is only an aspect of the numerous processes in their developmental stages concerning national security. In 2013, the President assented to the Nigerian Cyber Crime bill by the President. In June, 2014, the National Cyber Security
Policy and Strategy drafts were officially presented at a symposium held in Lagos.

Characterized by an unrestricted borderless nature, the importance of security policy implementation through standardized and functional strategies in securing cyberspace cannot be overemphasized. This explains why the government of Nigeria has continued to solicit for the active support, participation and contributions of stakeholders from relevant sectors towards achieving increased national cyber security.

The main objective of this study is to perform a critical scrutiny of the Nigerian Cyber Security Policy and Strategy drafts. To achieve this, we review timeline of cyber security policy and strategy development in Nigeria. Some selected National Cyber Security developmental frameworks, focused on the development of security policies and strategies
in an open environment are examined. We then harmonize the examined frameworks, extracting peculiarities amongst them. Furthermore, the Nigerian National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy is evaluated in the light of these harmonized frameworks. And lastly, we present a comparative evaluation of the Nigerian Cyber Security Policy and Strategy with those of selected countries.

With Nigeria being at crossroads in cyber security policy formulation, this study would prove relevant in providing important information as deduced from an analysis of the National Cyber Security policy and strategy drafts, with regards to validating the standard of the documents. This information would prove helpful in the assessment of the
drafts as compiled by ONSA and subsequently provide contributions and recommendations if need be, prior to eventual cyber security strategy implementation in Nigeria. It would also provide necessary information as to the viability of the policy and strategy framework with respect to the Nigerian environment.

Literature Review

Cyber Security Policy and Strategies – cyber Security Policy and Strategies Prevalent in recent times are businesses, establishments, initiatives, organizations or nations as the case may be, creating and being governed by policies and strategies, applicable to all spheres of their operations and spanning their expected lifetime. These often times exist as documents, which serve as guidelines to be followed in all situations, whether favorable or unfavorable, expected or unforeseen. Policies and strategies act as developmental frameworks characteristically crafted by key policy makers and top executives of an organization and meant to be austerely adhered to, regardless of immediate or impending situations, having been developed for these purposes. The success of any organizational initiative is dependent on the immediate goals set out to achieve as well as the methods prescribed and adopted with which to achieve such goals. These documents are more frequently intertwined in the goals, which they set to achieve and, hence, are often regarded as being one and the same.

According to the Office of the Nigerian National Security Adviser (2014), “National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) is the nation’s readiness strategy to provide cohesive measures and strategic actions towards assuring security and protection of the country’s presence in cyberspace, safeguarding critical information infrastructure, building and nurturing trusted cyber-community”.

The essence of Cyber Security Policies and Strategies – It is imperative that amidst several existing government concerns, the issue of Cyber Security is one whose relevance should be given utmost attention. Currently, cyber security considerations are inevitably gaining global attention. Having such relevance, concerned policy makers, governments and stakeholders cannot help but cautiously craft guiding principles in the form of policies and strategies with which issues of cyber security are meant to be governed.

Jointly, a purposeful and operational cyber security policy and strategy would facilitate the attainment of a reduced possibility of successful cyber incidents on a national level. It would provide a country with the capacity to prevent such attacks and swiftly address them in the event of their occurrence. It also would represent international equality thereby fostering cooperation amongst countries in areas of security and development.

Focal Point of Cyber Security Policies and Strategies: In its entirety, cyber security policy and strategies attempt to provide a framework comprising a multiplicity of guiding principles and action plans aimed at addressing cyber security and its related incidents.

Office of the National Security Adviser (2014) shares similar views with Microsoft (Goodwin and Nicholas, 2013) by its presentation of the following components as major threats sought to be addressed by typical cyber security policies and strategies;

Cybercrime – Cybercrime encompasses all forms of cyber-assisted criminal activity
in which its commission was partly or totally aided by cyberspace and/or its
components. Some frequently committed cyber-crimes include cyberstalking,
cyberbullying, identity theft, computer-aided forgery, email scams, virus
dissemination and malware attacks.

Cyber Terrorism – Cyber terrorism is famous in recent times with the advancement in technology and involves the use of computing and cyber technologies in aiding or executing terroristic activities of any form.

Cyber Espionage – This is synonymous to modern day spying. The existence of activities of spies on cyber space means the elimination of the need for physical presence of spies at the target location, easing its commission and complicating its detection.

Online Child Abuse and Exploitation – Severely frowned at by the international community, online child exploitation is seen to be on the increase. It involves all forms of activities, which take advantage of the timid nature of children by preys over the internet.

Hacktivism – Regarded as a hybrid cyber activity, hacktivism is a use of computer
technology in facilitating online protests, causing civil unrest or disobedience in
cyber space by deliberate disruption of information flow.

National Cyber Security Strategy Lifecycle – The European Network and Information Security Agency (2012) in recognition of a
national cyber security strategy as a living document, presented the following three
approaches as being adoptable in its governance as regards lifecycle.
• Linear approach
Strategies functioning by this approach exist for but a while. In this approach, a
national cyber security strategy is initially developed, then implemented, assessed and
finally terminated or replaced.

• Lifecycle approach
This approach follows a similar initial pattern as that of the linear approach but differs
at the point of assessment in which the results of the assessment phase are used in
maintaining, reviewing and adjusting the existing strategy.

• Hybrid Approach
This approach attempts to govern cyber security strategies by continually performing
improvements at various levels of the strategy lifecycle when the need arises with the
intention of better strengthening its functions.

Cyber Security Policies and Strategies of various countries – Cyber security has in recent times steadily and undoubtedly gained a global stance
when viewed on an international spectrum. This results from its potential contributive
benefits if addressed appropriately and consequently, possible destructive corollaries if
neglected on a national scale. Owing to this is the elevation of issues regarding cyber
security as critical national concerns, having topmost priorities in several countries across
the world. This had led to the sprouting of national cyber security strategies in the world
over, as observed in several countries across all continents. These strategies are seen to
have been analyzed in an attempt to deduce their strengths and weaknesses alike. Cutting
across various national platforms, examinations into the analysis of some national cyber
security strategies is included in this section.

The Data Security Council of India (2013) and Watanabe (2013) both acknowledged
the presence of threats posing national security risks on India and France respectively. The
DSCI analyzed the Indian strategy from a market driven versus regulatory approach, one
that was broadly criticized for such reasons as shortfall in voluntary efforts by the private
sector in guaranteeing national security requirements, but seen to be in adoption and
encouraged by a multiplicity of countries including the United States. Watanabe (2013,)
on the other hand, examined the Cyber Security Strategy of France from a military and
national defense perspective, being reflective of its capabilities, responsibilities as well as
prospects towards enhancing national cyber security. He emphasized that the French national cyber security white paper serves as an adaptation means to recent evolutions in a
strategic environment. By this analysis, the military roles and capabilities in enhancing
cyber security as stipulated by the whitepaper were acknowledged, but faulted for France’s
lack of critical equipment and budgetary constraints in meeting these objectives.

Also, explained was the whitepaper pointing out France’s key position in security and
defense but this was criticized as operations of the European Union’s Common Security
and Defense Policy (CSDP) has in recent times, been observed to lack political will.
Şentürk, Cil, and Seref (2012) and Nitta (2013) in close correlation with Watanabe
(2013) admitted the important global role played by the United States in enhancing cyber
security. In their analysis of the Turkish cyber security strategy, Şentürk, Cil, and Seref
(2012) submitted that the United States national cyber security strategy is seen to be the
most examined amongst others, indicating the country’s lofty cyber security global
relevance. In explaining the importance of cyber space, they reiterated a statement by the
UK Cabinet Office in 2009, which highlighted the country’s understanding of the security
of her national cyber space, in the 21st century, as indispensable for national prosperity and

Though viewed also from a military perspective, their analysis differed from that of
Watanabe (2013). It prescribed methods to be adopted by a national cyber security
strategy being approached by a target country with a Deter-Disarm-Defend triangle,
comprising of defensive military procedures. They however recommended a review of the
Turkish national cyber security strategy to allow for the incorporation of more offensive
strategies, in the face of the defensive ones presently in place.

Nitta (2013) in her analysis of the Japanese cyber security strategy attempted to point
out some areas of weakness and recommend measures for improvement. She
acknowledged Japan’s move towards increased international collaboration, but encouraged
national independence in cyber security. Suggested recommendations included the need
to hasten human resource training in essential cyber security areas for increased technical
collaboration with other countries, better situational awareness, regardless of high-quality
cyber security structure presently in place.

Regardless of the limitless possible variants in which National Cyber Security policies
and strategies might come, they generally attain convergence by a common aim –
intensifying efforts to strive towards achieving optimum security in cyberspace. However,
distinctions lie in the focal points by which this aim is intended to be sought.

The Canadian Cyber Security Strategy addresses national security in cyberspace from
the distinct perspective of the protection of critical national infrastructure. This can be
observed from the three strengthening pillars of the strategy which are securing
government systems, partnering to secure all vital cyber systems outside the federal
Government, and helping Canadians stay secure online. These were majorly aimed at
addressing three categories of threats including state sponsored military activities and cyber
espionage, internet use by terrorists, and cyber crime (Government of Canada, 2010).

United Kingdom
United Kingdom, on the other hand, in its Cyber Security Strategy of 2011, focused
on the derivation of enormous social and economic value from a secure, vibrant and
resilient cyberspace. It was hoped that the core values would increase prosperity and
improve the United Kingdom national security. Four objectives were stated in the
Strategy. These include: tackling cyber crime to make UK one of the most secure parts of
the world to conduct business relating to cyberspace; increased resilience to cyber attacks
and being better positioned to protect national interests in cyber space; shaping a safe
cyberspace that supports an open society; and building essential knowledge, capability and
skills to cater for all its cyber security objectives. It can be deduced that the UKs’ strategy
is aimed at better positioning the nation amongst its pairs (Cabinet Office, 2011).

Japan in its 2010 National Cyber Security Strategy, primarily focused on protecting
the nations’ Information System by adopting defensive measures against large-scale cyberattacks, which have in recent times increasingly gained popularity. Several carefully crafted
action plans were prescribed for implementation in the attainment of optimum delivery of
security of national Information Systems (Information Security Policy Council, 2010).

Crafted in 2014, the Kenyan national Cyber security Strategy clearly acknowledges the
nations’ position as being in its infancy in terms of cyber security. It therefore centers its
strategy on protecting Kenyan National cyberspace interactions against unavoidable threats
it must encounter in the course of the developmental phases of the nation’s cyber security
stance (Government of Kenya, 2014).

France, by its National Cyber Security Strategy reflected the large-scale adoption of
modern cyber technologies by its citizens. It therefore focused its strategy on
strengthening and protecting National Information Infrastructures and sovereignty related
information as well as becoming a world power in cyber defense. France collectively
viewed cyber security in its strategy, from a defensive perspective (French Network and
Information Security Agency, 2011).

The Netherlands
The National Cyber Security Strategy of Netherlands aims at adjusting the national
cyber security posture from awareness to capability. Having gained deeper insight into
cyber threats, Netherlands by its strategy aspires to adopt a new approach to issues of cyber
security by intensifying actions to address cyber threats rather than increasing awareness on
the existence of these threats (National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism,

Findings and Discussion

Evaluation of the Nigerian National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy – The evaluation of the Nigerian National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy is based on a 60 percent minimum content occurrence across the examined strategy developmental frameworks. In other words, contents observed to have a minimum occurrence of 60 percent across all examined frameworks are identified, and subsequently selected as mandatory contents that any standard National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy should address.

Developmental Timeline – With plans in place for an increased broadband service delivery and infiltration of ICT technologies, a subsequent increase in cyberspace interactions is inevitable. Sadly, these interactions are characteristically accompanied by an inexhaustible list of threats, which if not addressed, will not only mar the intended plans, but also self-destruct the entire nation. To this regard was the move by the Presidency, through the Office of the
National Security Adviser (ONSA), to put together a Nigerian National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy draft, which is the first of its kind.

Evaluation of the Nigerian National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy in the light of harmonized Developmental Frameworks
The evaluation was conducted using the contents recommended by standardized
developmental frameworks as a basis. Presented in this analysis are contents of the
Nigerian National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy, observed to be in accordance with
the harmonized developmental frameworks, shown in the context with which they were

• Strategy Development
i. Backed by Strong Leadership
This is reflected in the national cyber security strategy by stating that coordination of
strategy implementation will be undertaken by the Office of the National Security
Adviser, which is directly answerable to the Presidency. By implication, the strategy is
being supported by the highest level of national leadership.

ii. Multi-Stakeholder approach
This can be observed in the policy objective of creating multi-stakeholder partnerships
and leadership advisory measures useful in gathering intelligence, information sharing and
coordinated response. The strategy clearly adopts a multi-stakeholder approach by its
numerous moves demanding contributions as well as assigning active roles to such cyber
security stakeholders as academia, technical community and law enforcement in securing
cyber space and its associated interactions.

iii. Definition of cyber security vocabulary
Contained in Appendix 2, are concise explanations of professional cyber security terms
used throughout the policy and strategy drafts. This reduces the technicality and improves
understanding of the national policy and strategy if examined by persons not conversant
with the field of cyber security and its associated terminologies.

iv. Inform and educate key players
The strategy intends to use the National Internet Security Initiative to train and
educate key players in the cyber security industry amongst others, in raising awareness on
national internet safety. Targeted amongst these key players are members of the judiciary,
law enforcement and the business community.

• Strategy Delivery
i. Continuous progress report
Demanded by the strategy is an annual preparedness report, which demands the
provision of details as regards the extent to which the strategy implementation has gone. It
thereby provides an understanding of critical infrastructure protection and overall cyber
security state of Nigeria.

ii. Overseeing by dedicated agency
The Nigerian National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy was developed and
presented by the Office of the National Security Adviser, which is directly answerable to
the Presidency. It was tasked with the responsibility of creating and managing all matters
concerning the national policy and strategy.

• Strategy Review
i. Continuous Monitoring and validation
The Nigerian National Cyber Security Strategy intends to adopt a continuous
monitoring approach aimed at being up to date with current threat and risk trends facing
cyberspace. The strategy intends to monitor the strategy implementation, noting areas that
demand increased attention and subsequently update the strategy in future reviews.

ii. Periodic Review
It is recommended that in a bid to retain its functionality, the Critical Information
Protection strategy be reviewed after a five year interval.

• Introduction and Background Section
i. Current National Cyber Security State
Stated in terms of recent advancements in Information and Communication
technologies, as measured by the exponential increase in mobile network and internet
penetration was the national cyber security posture. However, this does not present a clear
explanation of state of cyber security in Nigeria. As an introduction to a National Cyber
Security Strategy, it is imperative that such issues as immediate and apparent threats as well
as possibly successful attacks against the nation or its citizenry be clearly included in this
portion of the strategy, to provide substantial information on the actual state of cyber
security in the nation.

ii. Presentation of Cyber Security challenges
The presence of security challenges posed by increased internet penetration and
interactions in cyberspace was acknowledged and served as a justification for the
development of the strategy.
iii. Strategy development justification
The strategy intends to address identified threats, recognizing them as being capable of
destroying the integrity of a nation, disrupting operations of critical information
infrastructure and destabilizing national security.

• Guiding Principles Section
i. Root Strategy in National Values
The national cyber security policy offers chances for the creation of a secure network
environment providing some benefits, one of which is the promotion of national values.
ii. Privacy Respect and Civil Liberties protection
Respect for citizen privacy and the protection of civil rights intended to be achieved
by the policy implementation and is contained in the data protection and privacy section of the legal framework initiative, where the legislative is tasked with the responsibility of
developing and enacting initiatives concerned with data protection and citizen privacy.

iii. Risk-based approach
A risk-based approach is intended to be adopted by the policy as a basis for performing
assurance and monitoring of the cyber security strategy. By this, the strategy intends to
identify risks posed by cyberspace and strike a balance between retaining the openness of
the internet, mitigating and accepting some risks.

• Vision and Strategic Goals Section
i. Promote economic development
The policy and strategy are partly intended to be tools for economic development.
This was stated while explaining the importance of cyber space to the government, stating
Nigeria’s recognition of cyberspace as the fifth domain, which drives critical national tasks
such as economic development, social interactions, medical, government and national
security operations.
ii. Provide National Leadership
A stated objective of the national cyber security policy is to establish amongst others, a
national leadership advisory mechanism, useful in intelligence gathering, information
sharing and coordinated response. The implementation of the national cyber security
policy, would serve as a leading pathway for the attainment of a secure cyberspace for
citizen interaction.
iii. Tackle Cyber crime
Contained in the policy is an objective to develop a framework aimed at enhancing
collaboration between necessary agencies in combating cyber crime. Several mentions
were made of initiatives involving law enforcement and the judiciary on the roles, which
they are expected to play in fighting cyber crime.
iv. Strengthen Critical Infrastructure
The strategy on the protection and resilience of critical information infrastructure
suggests that several activities should be initiated across the government, business
community and stakeholders in ensuring the protection of critical information
v. Raise and Maintain Awareness
The principle of national awareness, capacity building and advocacy was contained as a
guiding principle in the national cyber security policy. These efforts were sought to span
across several sectors, including private institutions, law enforcement and individual
vi. Achieve Shared Responsibility
Acknowledged by the strategy on protection and resilience of critical information
infrastructures is the fact that the responsibility of critical infrastructure protection should
be shared across the government and infrastructure owners and operators.

vii. Develop national and international partnerships
The importance of partnership on a national scale in incident response and cyber crime
prevention, as well as on an international scale in online child protection, addressing cyber
threats and best practices was contained in the strategy.

• Risk Management Section
i. Describe risk management method
In description of the adopted risk management method, the policy identifies several
sectors, which are prone to risk, and recommends that the private sector, being the major
owners and operators of cyberspace, collaborates with the government in identifying and
protecting critical infrastructure, to manage the risks posed on these identified critical
information infrastructures.
ii. Describe threats and vulnerabilities
The strategy explains that the cyber threat landscape is fuelled by both state actors –
targeted at government infrastructures – and non-state actors including unorganized
criminals, terrorists and extremists. These two categories pose major threats on national
cyber security. Vulnerabilities are described in the strategy and are said to range from
technical faults to human negligence.
iii. Categorize risks
In explaining national cyber risk exposure, the strategy gives an overview of the cyber
threat landscape and its impacts. It then classifies cyber threats into five major categories
namely Cyber crime, Cyber espionage, Cyber conflict, Cyber terrorism and Online Child
Abuse and Exploitation.
iv. Avoid creation of national standards to avoid deviation from ICT supply chain
Recommendations of international standards to be adopted are contained in the
strategy on assurance and monitoring where an initiative recommends international
standards and frameworks, some of which were specified to ease ICT standardization.
v. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based) objectives.
The objectives of the strategy meet the SMART requirements by clearly being specific
in its intended goals, which address relevant security issues and would be monitored and
measured for further review set at a five-year interval.
• Strategy Implementation Section
i. Governance and Management structure
The strategy implementation will be governed by the Office of the National Security
Adviser in joint collaboration with pertinent government agencies in the achievement of
strategic cyber security goals. This office was responsible for the creation of the Nigerian
National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy and would subsequently be responsible for
the policy and strategy management.

ii. Legal and Regulatory framework
Provision is made in the strategy for the development and promotion of such legal
framework initiatives as overhauling the judiciary to accommodate new cyber crime
legislations. The federal government is responsible for taking legal and regulatory actions
aimed at improving its laws to fight cyber crime.
iii. Capacity Development
The strategy provides for capacity development as needed in cyber security incident
management. It recommends the development of national capability in the judiciary and
law enforcement in cyber crime prosecution as well as the understanding and handling of
electronic evidence. It also recommends development across various cyber security sub
sectors such as research and development.
iv. Incident Response
The strategy on incident management, as contained in the National Cyber Security
Strategy caters for deterring and responding to cyber threats. It provides for the creation of
a Nigerian Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which will speedily respond to
security incidents.
v. Stakeholder Collaboration
Largely encouraged in the National Cyber Security Strategy is the adoption of a multistakeholder approach through collaborations and partnerships between various cyber
security stakeholders and the government. This owes its relevance to the important
contributory roles and responsibilities attributed to these stakeholders.
i. Research and Development
Emphasis was placed in the Nigerian National Cyber Security Policy, on promoting
development in cyber security innovations, to meet the ever-evolving threat situation by
collaborations between the government and academia on cyber security research and
ii. Monitoring and Evaluation
It is important that various stakeholders have increased confidence and trust in the
National Cyber Security Strategy to be a tool for providing increased security. This will be
achieved as contained in the strategy, by continuous monitoring and review of the cyber
security program management and implementation, which subsequently, would
unceasingly provide better security measures across cyberspace.

• New Themes – General Considerations
i. Fostering cooperation with ISPs
Being the operators of the tunnels through which all cyber space interactions are
passed through, it is important that a national cyber security strategy promotes cooperation
between Internet Service Providers and the government, as this would ease access to
network traffic and cyberspace activity monitoring amongst others thereby, ensuring
higher safety of citizens on the internet. The Nigerian strategy should therefore contain
initiatives to foster such cooperation.

ii. Identifying economic drivers and incentives
The identification of economic determinants on which the national economic posture
depends is essential by a National Cyber Security Strategy. These are contained in the
Nigerian strategy and presented as sectors to which sector specific plans are made
regarding national cyber security. Some examples include the financial services sector and
the commercial facilities sector.
iii. Developing digital identity frameworks
The existence of a cyberspace digital user identification framework would be of
immense use in the fight against cyber crime on a national spectrum. A national cyber
security strategy should contain measures to be put in place to ensure that this becomes a
reality. With a functional digital identity framework in place, all cyberspace interactions
can be monitored and attributed to specific users, thereby promoting a more secure
cyberspace, capable of identifying users on the platform. Unfortunately, the Nigerian
National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy does not contain this.
iv. Protection of children online
The strategy dedicates an entire chapter to the protection of children against online
abuse and exploitation. It recognizes the dangers posed by cyberspace interactions on
children and actions to be taken for protection of children.
v. Conducting Cyber Security Exercises
The national incident management strategy provides for the conduct of simulated
cyber security exercises by the Nigerian Computer Emergency Readiness Team to enable
stakeholders to better understand their roles during possible crisis.
vi. Developing a military cyber-defense capability
Upon harmonization of the cyber security developmental frameworks and extraction
of essential components of a National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy, it was observed
that further development of the military for the provision of cyber defense is critical to
national security.
With the incessant terrorist activities in Nigeria currently, it would be expected that
the Nigerian National Cyber Security Strategy would intensify efforts towards the
development of military capability capable of addressing cyber terrorism in the event of
these conventional terrorists shifting their activities against the country to cyberspace. The
effect of a cyber-war could be devastating on Nigeria, if the National Cyber Security
Strategy does not put military cyber warfare capabilities in place.

• Non-Governmental Stakeholder Considerations
i. Role of International Standards
The strategy encourages the adoption of, and acknowledges the roles played by
international standards in information security governance and control. It encourages the
adoption of internationally recognized information and communication technologies, to
remain within the global cyber security supply chain.

ii. Flexible policy options
The strategy contains considerations that allow for improvements and contributions in
line with changes in the information systems environment. It recommends that upon
discovery, new methods can be adopted to address new threats. By this, the national cyber
security policy incorporates measures that reduce its rigidity, making it capable of adjusting
to changing needs and requirements.


In the course of the analysis of the Nigerian National Cyber Security Policy and
Strategy, the results of the comparative analysis with similar documents of selected
countries was reflective of the fact that the documents are reasonably comprehensive in
terms of content. The evaluation based on the harmonized frameworks also showed that
the required contents expected to be typically contained in such documents are largely
Sadly however, certain aspects which appear to be critical to the Nigerian scenario
such as an explanation of the current national cyber security state, partnership with
internet service providers, establishment of digital identity frameworks, and the
development of a military cyber defense capability were seen to either be utterly absent or
only barely implied.
Observed from the findings of this research, are certain areas of concern regarding the
Nigerian National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy, for which the following
recommendations are put forward for consideration in future reviews.

  1. The provision of comprehensive details of the current state of Nigerian cyber
    security should be contained in the policy and strategy, to provide immediate
    information to national industry stakeholders.
  2. The national policy and strategy should be better localized, to adequately address
    national issues regarding cyber security.
  3. Attention should be paid to the development of a digital identity framework, as
    the policy and strategy documents are aimed at reducing threats and increasing
    security, which can be flawed without a proper form of citizen identification in
  4. Partnerships between the government and Internet Service Providers should be
    encouraged to better enhance national cyber security monitoring.
  5. The development of a cyber defense military capability with the ability to provide
    cyber counterterrorism in the event of a cyber war should seriously be looked into
    and included in the documents.

Our take: Modernization introduced an increase in growth of the adoption of communication technology globally. This adoption of technological innovations to improve the quality of life also came with a downside; however, while the benefits outweighs the risks, it is also pertinent to address the need for security in the cyberspace. While this is important, it can only become efficient with the provision of a strong legal support ; hence, the need for the establishment of a policy frame work that provides comprehensive programs to improve cyber security.

Source: International Journal of Cyber Criminology (IJCC)

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