Following the dawn of the Information Age, Computers and the Technologies that power them have been proven a double-edged sword with the potential for both good and evil – depending on how much the user(s) can harness them in either direction. On one end of the stick, we seem doused by the development of sophisticated devices and gadgets to assuage our growing need for communication and connectivity and also to combat internet and electronic-related/fostered crimes and the criminals that perpetrate them; while on the other end, we wrestle with the fact that electronic Crimes are becoming more popular, leaving in their wake much more devastating effects than it did in the years that preceded, and the ICT devices and equipment that are employed right from planning to execution of such and other (similar) crimes are worrisomely becoming more common, less expensive and more sophisticated over the years – a nagging fear that some of the most-potent devices are becoming more readily available, more affordable and more devastating as the peace and security of our nations decline before our very eyes with helpless imminence. It is true that a preponderance of the causes of the bane of terrorism and violence, amongst other challenges that befall nations (such as ours) glaringly stem from sources that are more far-reaching; the untold complementary reality, however, is that the propellants of these vices are the devices and equipment (ranging from Mobile Phones and Tablets to GPS and tracking devices, Computers, surveillance equipment and the Internet) that are put further within reach of the citizenry every day and fostered towards negative causes by poor administration and gross mismanagement especially in underdeveloped and developing nations. This recent tide necessitates an urgency to review the concept of Information and Communication Technology and its impact on our National Security for good and otherwise and appraise its contributions in holistic ramifications so as to determine whether our nations are, in essence, leveraging on its advantages or being plagued by its disadvantages.
In light of this, this research creates an exposé into the facets of the capabilities of Information and Communication Technology – the good, the bad and the ugly; identifying some of the security challenges that have and could be linked causatively to ICT infrastructure and some possible solutions – “what we have” and “what we need”, in relation to the growing concerns of National Security; with a focus on citing and analysing situations, especially those that exist in the Nigerian context wherever sources exist and are verifiable.