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Conceptual Framework for the Assessment of the Degree of Dependency of Critical National Infrastructure on ICT in Nigeria

Author(s): Uche Mbanaso, Victor Kulugh, Habiba Musa and Gilbert Aimufua  |  Published date:  Nov, 2019

Abstract  -  Critical  National  Infrastructure  (CNI)  are  assets that provide core functions to modern society, which failure   or   incapacitation   can   adversely   affect   national   security, economic prosperity and wellbeing of citizens. In an evolving digital society, CNI rely heavily on Information and  Communications  Technology  (ICT)  infrastructure  to  improve   productivity,   and   effectively   deliver   critical   services  in  timely  and  cost-effective  fashion.  However,  the  underlying  ICT  infrastructure  that  drives  CNI  amplify  cyber   risks,   threats   and   vulnerabilities   exponentially.   Consequently,   a   failure   in   ICT   infrastructure   has   the   potential to affect CNI in an unexpected manner. The risks associated with the use of ICT are dynamic, raising the need for  continuous  assessment  of  degree  of  ICT  dependency.  Presently  however,  there  is  rarely  a  framework  nor  a  publicly  available  tool  in  Nigeria  that  can  quantitatively  gauge  the  degree  of  CNI  dependency  on  ICT.  The  study  addresses  this  gap  by  the  development  of  a  conceptual  framework that can facilitate the assessment of the degree of CNI dependency on ICT. In this study, existing relevant documents on critical infrastructure, ICT frameworks and standards and critical process engineering principles were scanned,  analysed  and  synthesised  to  conceptualise  the  framework,  and  the  construction  of  the  building  blocks,  metrics and indicators. The framework was tested using a hypothetical    discrete    dataset.    The    outcome    further    facilitated  the  framing  of  ICT  Dependency  Index  (IDI),  a  predefined    quadrant,    of    which    the    computation    of    Dependency must fall within one of the quadrants.

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