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This study attempts to examine the activity, awareness and measures being adopted by staff and students in tertiary institutions to overcome the cyber security challenges. A total of one hundred and twenty (120) staff and students were sampled from three different tertiary institutions in Owerri-Imo State, Nigeria using random sampling technique. A structured questionnaire was used as data collecting instrument. The views representing the opinions of the respondents were sought on issues on cyber space activity, security awareness and strategy adopted by staff and students. With respect to activity on cyberspace, there is a variation of engagement by respondents. On the cyberspace activities engaged, majority of the respondents, 82% of the population claimed that they involve in Google search. When asked about their awareness to certain educational cybercrimes, majority, 89%, claimed to be aware of spamming. Most of the staff and students sampled on security awareness responded that they are familiar with some threats used to steal and leak their information and identity. However, all of the biggest cybercrimes the education sector are battling recently like phishing, ransomware and DDoS which have been used to attack schools on a regular basis are not that popular among the staff and students. A very important revelation from this study was that issues related to cybercrime are not being reported to law enforcement agents by staff and students of tertiary institutions. This poses great danger to the fight against cybercrime. All the users of Information Technology (IT) facilities in tertiary institutions should be educated on the risk of cyber-attacks and how to manage it. This includes reporting to law enforcement agency. It is recommended that the government and the authorities of tertiary institutions in Nigeria introduced cyber security law as part of the courses to be taken. The network users should be made to know their roles and responsibilities in ensuring a safe and efficient cyber pace.
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© AUG 2019 | IRE Journals | Volume 3 Issue 2 | ISSN: 2456-8880
IRE 1701507 ICONIC RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING JOURNALS 439
Cyberspace Activities Awareness and Security Strategies
in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria
NJOKU D. O.1, NWOKORIE. E. C.2, OKOLIE. S. A.3, ODII. J. N.4
1, 2, 3, 4Department of Computer Science, Federal University of Technology, Owerri
Abstract- This study attempts to examine the
activity, awareness and measures being adopted by
staff and students in tertiary institutions to
overcome the cyber security challenges. A total of
one hundred and twenty (120) staff and students
were sampled from three different tertiary
institutions in Owerri-Imo State, Nigeria using
random sampling technique. A structured
questionnaire was used as data collecting
instrument. The views representing the opinions of
the respondents were sought on issues on cyber
space activity, security awareness and strategy
adopted by staff and students. With respect to
activity on cyberspace, there is a variation of
engagement by respondents. On the cyberspace
activities engaged, majority of the respondents, 82%
of the population claimed that they involve in
Google search. When asked about their awareness
to certain educational cybercrimes, majority, 89%,
claimed to be aware of spamming. Most of the staff
and students sampled on security awareness
responded that they are familiar with some threats
used to steal and leak their information and identity.
However, all of the biggest cybercrimes the
education sector are battling recently like phishing,
ransomware and DDoS which have been used to
attack schools on a regular basis are not that
popular among the staff and students. A very
important revelation from this study was that issues
related to cybercrime are not being reported to law
enforcement agents by staff and students of tertiary
institutions. This poses great danger to the fight
against cybercrime. All the users of Information
Technology (IT) facilities in tertiary institutions
should be educated on the risk of cyber-attacks and
how to manage it. This includes reporting to law
enforcement agency. It is recommended that the
government and the authorities of tertiary
institutions in Nigeria introduced cyber security law
as part of the courses to be taken. The network
users should be made to know their roles and
responsibilities in ensuring a safe and efficient
cyber pace.
Indexed Terms- Cybercrime, Cyber Security, Cyber
Space, Information Technology, Tertiary Institution
I. INTRODUCTION
Over the past decades, innovations in mobile phones
and computers technology have changed the concept
of cyberspace activities. This has also brought about
the emergence of different cybercrimes due to lack of
security. In order to keep personal and professional
information safe from attacks, various means have
been devised by stakeholders in Information
Technology (IT) to provide security for themselves
and their private documents. Cyber security plays a
substantial role in the current growth of IT services.
Cyber security has been described in [1] as an
attempt by users to keep personal and professional
information unharmed from the attacks on the
internet. Protecting networks, computers,
programmes from unauthorized access and loss is the
foremost function of cyber security application.
Information Technology (IT) has made education
more innovative. In this modern age, technology and
education are interconnected. Modern technology is
being deployed in educational institutions across the
globe to provide effective teaching and learning and
facilitate innovative research and collaboration
among institutions. It is even common these days to
see advanced technology being used at primary
education level for academic purpose. Upgrade in
technology, no doubt, will offer limitless benefits and
boost and upgrades the procedures of education [2].
The use of IT facilities increases efficiency and
productivity, and makes educational tasks easier.
Nevertheless, it suffers from a number of threats to
its reliability and integrity. This is mostly viewed
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from the threats to the privacy of individuals or
corporate institutions regarding the security of their
information, which has been on increase over the
years. The threat of cyber security is increasing daily
basis and it is adversely impacting on user of IT
facilities in the society. Concerning research,
educational institutions are increasingly being
targeted by cybercriminals. A cybercriminal, internal
or external, to an institution, can gain unauthorized
access (hack) into the cyber system or database of an
institution to obtain sensitive, confidential
information or private through social engineering
tactics [2]. An unsuspecting user within an institution
can as well be hacked by cybercrime actor and leak
private information.
In Nigeria, a good number of users are unaware of
the risks posed by using unprotected or unsecured
cyberspace. This is also true of educational
institutions in Nigeria whose websites and database
are often attacked by cybercriminals to alter the
results of students, change admission status, leak
private information and carry out other mischievous
actions. Hence, educational institutions in Nigeria
should take the actions that will help to protect
themselves from any form of cyber threats from
within or outside.
It has been reported that educational institutions are
now regularly being targeted by cybercriminals. In
respect to this, Biddle [3] reported that data breaches
amounting to 13% in the first half of 2017 were
accounted for by the education sector. This the report
stated resulted to the compromise of about 32 million
records. In fact, it can be said that one of the main
reason for the increasing cyber-attacks on tertiary
institutions is because of the varied data on their
database. The diverse data stored by the tertiary
educational institutions in Nigeria include:
information of staff and students, information on
healthcare, and information on finance. These stolen
records could be sold on the dark web were it would
be used for identity theft and fraud [3].
The increasing demands for increased IT capabilities
from students and staff as well as contending with
frequent attacks by cybercriminals, calls for
educational institutions to be more proactive and
prepared to balance the provision of access points to
staff and students while defending against influx of
endpoints from cybercrime on their networks. Hence,
there is growing number of devices and applications
linking to educational institution’s network per user.
This situation has given rise to increasing attack
surface.
In this paper, the issue of cyber space and security
awareness in tertiary institutions in Nigeria is
examined. The objective is to examine the activities,
awareness and measures being adopted by
stakeholders in tertiary institutions to overcome the
cyber security challenges. The remaining part of this
paper is divided into four (4), which include review
of issues of cyber security, methodology, findings
and discussion, and conclusion and
recommendations.
II. REVIEW OF PREVIOUS LITERATURE
In this section, the works done by previous authors
with respect to issues bordering on cybercrime and
cyber security are examined.
In the study of Das and Patel [1], the issues,
challenges and solutions to cyber security for social
networking sites (SNS) were highlighted. While
stressing the initiatives of government to eradicate
serious issues on cyber security, it recommended
appropriate ways individuals and government could
adopt in collaboration with private sector to achieve a
safe cyber-space.
Makeri [4] studied cyber security issues in Nigeria
and challenges. The author makes effort to provide an
overview of cybercrime and cyber security. The
definition of the concept of cybercrime, identification
of motives behind cybercrime and ways to get rid of
it were established. The author further looked at the
action of cyber criminals and the motive for their
involvement. Methods to protect users from the
activities of cybercriminals and to checkmate them
were emphasized.
Omodunbi et al [5] examined the most common
cybercrimes in the various sectors of the Nigerian
economy. An analysis of cybercrimes in tertiary
institutions in Ekiti State indicated majority of the
crimes were carried out by the youth. The authors
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then highlighted certain measures to detect and
prevent the cybercrimes in Nigeria.
Ibikunle and Eweniyi [6] presented approach to cyber
security in Nigeria with the attendant challenges and
the way forward. The concept of cybercrime and
cyber security was highlighted. The motive behind
cybercrime and involvement was looked. The authors
then provided practical and logical techniques for
overcoming cyber threats were established.
Kshetri [7] looked at cybercrime and cyber security
in Africa. The author stated that cybercrimes within
and outside Africa economies are on the increase, but
there has been progress recorded in the continent to
check the activities of cyber attackers especially the
use of cyber security legislation and enforcement
measures. The author then recommended that since
cyber-attacks in developing economies such as the
ones in Africa are geared towards targeting specific
industry sectors, research should focus on various
economic sectors so as to compare and contrast the
sector facing high profile of cybercrimes.
Oforji et al [8] examined cyber security and its
associated challenges in Nigeria with
recommendations on the way to tackle the menace of
cybercrime. In a similar work by Uwadia and Eti [9],
the authors maintained that increasing unemployment
has resulted proliferating cases of cybercrime in
Nigeria. Nevertheless, a bill has been passed by the
legislative organ of government to address issues of
cybercrime.
Osho et al [10] presented a qualitative analysis of
cyber security policy and strategy in Nigeria. The
authors analyzed the documents of Nigerian National
Cyber Security Policy and Strategy in terms of
selected harmonized strategy developmental
frameworks and also carried out comparative
evaluation of related documents from other selected
nations. The authors stated that the finding from the
analysis revealed that the document met majority of
the expectations in terms of content, however, it did
not mention some of the items of concern that affects
cyber security in various sectors of Nigerian
economy.
Dambo et al [11] in their study on cyber space
technology stated that due to the serious threat posed
by cybercrime activities, cyber security has become
an issue of national concern in Nigeria. The authors
argued that despite the fact modern computers and
mobile phones technology come with built-in firewall
security software, the computers are still not hundred
percent accurate and reliable to secure users
information.
Ibrahim [12] maintained that three possible factors
are responsible for cybercrimes in Nigeria. The
author highlighted socioeconomic, psychosocial and
geopolitical as the three factors. These factors, the
author stated, challenged the statistical data used to
making submission regarding cybercrime actions
throughout Nigeria. The study provided new
approach to establishing the reason for the large
variances of cybercrime so as to provide a more
obvious definition of cybercrime in Nigeria and other
countries. This, the author, argued that the culture of
domain and nuances has the same effect for online as
they do offline.
In a research designed and administered with the aim
of testing the impact of cybercrime on users in
Palestine, Amro [13] stated that the study revealed
that majority of the cybercrimes were largely based
on hacking of victims on social networks.
Odo and Odo [14] investigated the extent of
involvement in cybercrimes among students of
tertiary institutions in Enugu state of Nigeria
employing cross sectional survey design. The
findings revealed that the involvement of students in
cybercrime depends on gender and type of institution.
The authors maintained that from the finding that the
involvement of students in cybercrime would
adversely affect educational value as well as setback
in the economy of the state.
Hassan et al [15] identified urbanization,
unemployment and poor enactment of cybercrime
legislation as some of the causes of cybercrimes in
Nigeria. The authors suggested that individuals or
corporate institutions should take appropriate steps to
protect their IT infrastructure; while the government
should ensure strict enforcement of cybercrime laws.
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Okeshola and Adeta [16] examined the nature, causes
and implication of cybercrime in Nigerian tertiary
institution considering Zaria in Kaduna state. In the
study, the authors argued that due to harsh economic
condition and the fact that people who are without
economic success are not valued, the pressure to
become financially successful has compelled
individuals to involve in various forms of
cybercrimes in Nigeria.
The literature reviewed so far indicated that there is
still a gap to be covered in cybercrime issues in
Nigeria, notwithstanding the appreciable work done
already. Majority of the literature have concentrated
on general issues of cyber security in various sectors.
This study however, seeks to examine the knowledge
(in terms of cyberspace engagement and awareness)
of stakeholders in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
III. METHODOLOGY
This study uses structured questionnaire as data
collection instrument. In order to narrow down the
investigation, three prominent tertiary institutions in
Owerri were considered for drawing respondents.
A. Survey Location
Owerri is the capital of Imo state in Nigeria. Owerri
is well known for having high level of literate
inhabitants. Majority of the people living in Owerri
are civil servants, though mixed up with reasonable
number of business men/women and sizeable number
of farmers. Owerri is located at latitude 5.4836302
and longitude 7.0332499, in the northern hemisphere
[17]. It has an elevation of 71 m (LatLong.net) There
are five (5) five famous tertiary institutions in
Owerri. However, three (3) institutions have been
randomly selected to carry out this study. The
selected tertiary institutions are: Imo State University
(IMSU), Federal Polytechnic, Nekede (FEDPONEK)
and Federal University of Technology Owerri
(FUTO). The purpose of selecting these institutions
was based on their popularity as institutions of first
choice for students who seek admission within and
outside the Owerri city.
B. Research Population and Sampling
The population of the study was divided into three (3)
groups. These groups were drawn from:
a) Students within the selected tertiary education
institutions.
b) Non-academic staff
c) Lecturers of the selected tertiary institutions, who
either in computer science department or
computer/electrical and electronic engineering
Department.
A total of 120 people were sampled using random
sampling technique, administered questionnaires and
then grouped into three (3). The age of each
respondent is either 18 or above. The probability
sampling technique used was simple random
sampling (SRS).The data obtained was evaluated and
analyzed using descriptive statistical approach (using
frequency tables and charts). Table 1 shows the way
the questionnaires were distributed to the participants
from the selected tertiary institutions.
Table 1 Order of distributing questionnaires
Institution
Studen
ts
Non-Academic
staff
Lecturer
s
IMSU
25
10
5
FEDPON
EK
20
10
10
FUTO
25
10
5
Total
70
30
20
Most of the distributed questionnaires were given to
the students because from the literature survey
carried out, it was observed that majority of the
people who engage in cybercrimes are youths which
match with the category of students. The respondents
were further divided into
IV. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
A. Findings
Demographics of Respondents: This is analyzed
using two separate pie charts in Fig.1 and 2 to
represent the responses of the various respondents in
terms of their demography.
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Fig. 1 Gender distribution
Fig. 2 Age distribution
Activity engaged-in on the Internet: In this case, the
study attempts to examine and identify the nature of
things the respondents access while on cyberspace.
Their views were sought on what they do online by
responding Yes or No as shown in Fig. 3
Fig. 3 Activity engagement on the internet
Cybercrime awareness: The response representing the
opinions of the participants is shown in Fig.4
Fig. 4 Cybercrime awareness among staff and
students
Security measures: The response of the of the
participants on the measures they take in ensuring
that they are protected from cyber-attacks on their
mobile phones or computers is presented in Fig. 5.
Fig. 5 Response on the extend of protection used
B. Discussion
The two Figures (Fig. 1 and 2) represent the
respondents’ gender and age. The responses on
gender reveal that male respondents represent 69%
(83) of the population while the females account for
31% (37). The male respondents outnumbered the
females because of the females where met to
participate showed indifferent about the issue. On the
other hand, the age distribution shows that the
respondents (38%) are between 18 to 24 years, this is
followed by those between 25 to 30 years (26%) and
31 to 35 years (19%), while those between 36 years
and above (17%) represents the least set of
respondents.
In Fig. 3, the responses to the cyberspace activities
the respondents engage in are presented. From the
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findings, it is seen that majority of the respondents
engage in Google search activity (82%), social media
site (77%), academic research (70%), e-mail (69%),
media/entertainment and news (65%) and sport
(55%). Alternatively, only a small number of the
respondents engage pornography (14%) and piracy
(14%). However, none of the respondents admitted of
being involved in spamming. The low affirmation to
pornography and piracy engagements as well as the
nil acceptance of spamming can be attributed to the
sensitivity of such activities on the internet.
Fig. 4 shows the findings on the views of the
respondents in terms of their awareness to certain
educational cybercrimes. The Figure shows that
majority of the respondents are only aware of
spamming (89%), password sniffing (82%) and
ransomware/malware (79%). While less than average
number of the population admitted to be conversant
with plagiarism (45%), logic bombs (39%), and
phishing (36%), only few are familiar with
distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks (15%).
The fact that most of the respondents are not
conversant with cybercrimes like plagiarism,
phishing and DDoS is not impressive. For instance, it
is reported in (business and technology) that among
the biggest cybercrimes the education sector are
battling are phishing, ransomware and DDoS which
have been used to attack schools on a regular basis in
recent times. These cyber-attack strategies pose
serious cyber security issues to tertiary institutions
because they are used to leak personal information, to
carry out data extortion for money, or render
institutions incapacitated. However, the fact that less
than average number of the respondents are aware of
plagiarism can be attributed to the fact that majority
of the participants are people between 18 to 24 years
who are probably undergraduates.
The responses of the security strategy the respondents
adopt or are familiar with are presented in Fig.5.
Majority of the respondents said they always use
Personal Identification Number (PIN) to protect their
account (89%), password for their mobile
phones/computers (74%), proper anti-malware for
their computer (69%), and sign out their e-mail/other
accounts. However few population of the respondents
said they always avoid the use of pirated software
(19%) while none of the respondents affirmed to
have always reported issues of cybercrime to law
enforcement agency. The finding shows that more
than average number of the population said they
sometimes avoid the use of pirated software (61%),
while on reporting related cybercrime related issues
to law enforcement agency 21.4 % said they
sometimes do that with majority (79%) being neutral.
This can be attributed to the lack of trust on the law
enforcement agency or lack of awareness/knowledge
on the parts of the respondents on the extant law on
cybercrimes and the role of law enforcement agency.
V. CONCLUSION AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
This study reveals that most of the respondents
actually engage themselves with certain activities on
cyber space. The study also shows that most of the
staff and students are conversant with some of the
malicious attack targeted on educational institutions’
cyber network. On the security strategy use to protect
themselves from cybercriminals, most of them
admitted to have always used a certain technique to
overcome cyber threat. However, most of the
respondents still use pirated software without their
knowing that this can expose them and their IT
devices to potential cybercriminals. The reporting of
cyber security issues was not a common practice
among respondents in tertiary institutions. Only few
said they sometimes report cybercrime related issues
to appropriate authority, while most of them were
neutral. The study has attempted to examine the
cyber space engagement and security awareness in
tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The proper knowledge
of the appropriate security measures around cyber
space will help users of IT facilities in tertiary
institutions in Nigeria to make inform decisions on
how to keep themselves safe from cyber-attacks. A
very important revelation from this study is that
issues related to cybercrime are not being reported to
law enforcement agents by staff and students of
tertiary institutions. This poses great danger to the
fight against cybercrime. All the users of IT facilities
in tertiary institutions should be educated on the risk
of cyber-attacks and how to manage it. This includes
reporting to law enforcement agency. It is
recommended that the government and the authorities
of tertiary institutions in Nigeria introduced cyber
security law as part of the courses to be taken. The
© AUG 2019 | IRE Journals | Volume 3 Issue 2 | ISSN: 2456-8880
IRE 1701507 ICONIC RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING JOURNALS 445
network users should be made to know their roles and
responsibilities in ensuring a safe and efficient cyber
pace. Tertiary institutions in Nigeria should also
endeavour to organize departmental or faculty
workshops and seminars as often as possible to
enlighten stakeholders on most recent tactics used by
cybercriminals to steal information from
unsuspecting user and other cyber malicious attacks
on IT networks.
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... Cyber threats keep evolving and it has become very significant to international security discussions. The victims of cyber attacks cut across different categories of people, including students and educational institutions [8,9]. The risks of cyber attacks are high and cyber criminals have become more sophisticated [10]. ...
... Similarly, Isabella et al [17] found that only students in South Africa who take computing courses at higher education level were aware of cyber security and its associated risks, while many others lacked cyber security awareness. Njoku et al [9] examined Cyberspace Activities Awareness and Security Strategies in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria. They sampled 120 staff and students from three different tertiary institutions in Owerri-Imo State, Nigeria, and their results showed that majority of the participants had basic knowledge of cybersecurity threats like spamming. ...
... Unfortunately, many schools in Nigeria fall short of cyber security in their curriculum, while some who include it tend to lack the expertise to handle cybersecurity courses. Despite having over 92 million internet users, a good number of Nigerian population lack cybersecurity awareness [8,9]. Considering the need for cybersecurity education, the present study examines the awareness (knowledge) of cyber security among undergraduate students in Enugu State-Nigeria, with a view to highlight the importance of cyber security education, and assists undergraduate students to develop self-interest and awareness about cyber security. ...
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Cybersecurity threat is an ongoing threat that has become a source of global concern in recent time. This may not be unconnected with the digital revolution which seems to have made the internet a playground for cybercriminals. The increasing rate of cyber crimes underlines the need for increased cybersecurity awareness and education among people and organizations. This study examines cybersecurity awareness among undergraduate students. A total of 200 questionnaires were administered to participants that consist of undergraduate students from four selected tertiary institutions in Enugu, Nigeria. The samples were selected through simple random sampling technique, and collected data were analyzed using percentages, frequencies, and statistical methods of regression and ANOVA. The results showed that most of the participants had a basic knowledge of cybersecurity threats such as; virus, spamming, phishing, Denial of Service (DOS), identity theft, SQL injection, spoofing and illegal hacking, but were unaware of how to protect themselves from cyber threats and attacks. A significant statistically relationship was also established between the participants' knowledge of cybersecurity and their perceptions towards cybersecurity education, and between their knowledge of cybersecurity and interests in cybersecurity education. While lack of cyber talents, time constraints, exclusion of cybersecurity in non-computing courses, poor knowledge of fundamental computing areas, lack of mentors with hands-on experiences in cybersecurity, lack of supportive infrastructures, and ignorance were identified as some of the barriers that impede cyber security education. We conclude that cybersecurity should be integrated into school curriculum to prepare students for modern day cyber realities and to enhance their capabilities to protect themselves and others from crime and espionage on the cyber space.
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The researcher investigated the extent of involvement in Cybercrime activities among students in tertiary institutions in the Enugu state of Nigeria using a cross-sectional survey design. Questionnaires were used for data collection. A sample of 175 students was drawn from a population of 18,340 final year students in higher institutions in Enugu State using a cluster sampling procedure. The instrument contains 12 items with 4 point scale of Most-times, Sometimes, Seldom and Never. The findings showed that students of higher institutions in Enugu state are involved in cybercrime. It also showed that students' involvement in cybercrime is dependent on gender and Institution type. The implication of the finding for knowledge and development is that the present level of students' involvement in cybercrime has a negative effect on the value of education and by extension, has lead to the setback in economic development of the State. It was recommended that government should empower the law enforcement agencies to checkmate and deal with perpetrators of cybercrime. Abstract-The researcher investigated the extent of involvement in Cybercrime activities among students' in tertiary institutions in Enugu state of Nigeria using cross sectional survey design. Questionnaires were used for data collection. A sample of 175 students was drawn from a population of 18,340 final year students in higher institutions in Enugu State using cluster sampling procedure. The instrument contains 12 items with 4 point scale of Most-times, Sometimes, Seldom and Never. The findings showed that students of higher institutions in Enugu state are involved in cybercrime. It also showed that students' involvement in cybercrime is dependent on gender and Institution type. The implication of the finding for knowledge and development is that the present level of students' involvement in cybercrime has a negative effect on the value of education and by extension, has lead to the setback in economic development of the State. It was recommended that government should empower the law enforcement agencies to checkmate and deal with perpetrators of cybercrime. cybercrime, phishing, stalking, tertiary-institution.
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Education and Cyber Security: Challenges and Opportunities
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Admin (2018). Education and Cyber Security: Challenges and Opportunities. The KnowledgeReview.http://theknowledgereview.co m/education-cyber-security-challengesopportunities/# (Sourced: 1/7/2019)