Covenant Faculty Gives Panacea to Challenges of Data Exchange
A Covenant faculty, Professor Samuel Ndueso John has advocated detailed study of the topological structure of the network, carrying capacity of the communication channels, choice of data stream management and preset control parameters, and analysis of the communication nodes among others, as prerequisites to achieve an increase in the efficiency of data exchange in computer networks.
The Professor of Computer Systems and Network Engineering gave this recommendation on Friday October 19, 2018, when he delivered the 17th Inaugural Lecture of Covenant.
Speaking to the topic, ‘Efficient Data Exchange in Computer Networks: Big Data and Security in the Emerging Smart World’, Professor John said organisations were embracing a range of methods in the cloud on promises from across the data lifecycle in overcoming big data challenges and protecting information from outside hackers and intentional misuse by insiders or contractors.
The Inaugural Lecturer stated that the 17th Inaugural Lecture, which was the first in the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering in Covenant, gave him the privilege to justify and bring useful information to the society on what had been achieved in the area of efficient data management in computer networking and the impact it has had on the society and the world at large. He explained that data was created by the harvesting of an entity’s behaviour, responses, choices and disclosures with or without the entity’s consent. “This communal harvesting of an entity’s dialogue has ostensibly led to the growth of data also known as Big Data,” he added.
While describing big data as a term used to refer to the study and application of data sets that are too complex for traditional data-processing of application software to adequately deal with, the Inaugural Lecturer said the problems of big data management for effective functioning of computer networks were actual challenges in the modern digital age. He noted that packet loss, bandwidth available, latency, entrepreneurship, and transformation were the typical challenges of network pertaining to big data management.
Professor John, who bemoaned security breaches to personal computing devices, cloud storage accounts, and portable media devices in today’s world, affirmed that the end-to-end of data and information exchange was perpetually under threat. Big data, he said, were very attractive targets for hackers because they contained valuable and sensitive information, which could range from financial or intellectual property to corporate data and personal user data.
He pointed out that the destructive activities of cybercriminals had made cyber security measures imperative. To confront the challenges of what he called “the big data enterprise”, Professor John said graduate schools like Covenant should gear their efforts at producing more data scientists, big data industry players should be prepared to fight the war, and the cultivation of a group of bilinguals – people who can speak the languages of business and analytics.
In his remarks, the Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Regents, Covenant, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, represented by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, pondered over how Nigeria and the whole of Africa could use big data and the ICTs to affect the future of the great continent. He suggested that the people of Africa should move away from the status quo - doing things the way they were done in the past - and be disruptive in their mindset by coming up with fresh ideas.
The African Development Bank, he said, had in a recent survey come out with some findings and consequent on these findings, one of the things they decided to do was to create 130 Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centres of Excellence in Africa to create 9 million jobs and train 234,000 future African coders that would address the problem of unemployment in Africa by the year 2050, with Covenant being one of the four centres in Nigeria. He added that the World Bank was also expected to do a site survey of Covenant in the second stage of the University’s application for an African Centre of Excellence.
The Chancellor, who expressed displeasure at the realisation that external people were thinking about Africa’s problems for the continent, said the lecture delivered by Professor John became something people must take with all the seriousness it deserved.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor had in his remarks said the world was fast becoming a data-ruled world enabled by computer and the internet, with the development and application of ICT playing a decisive role in this transformation. He posited that the expansion of Big Data and development of the Internet of Things (IoT) were increasing the feasibility of a smart world, and the efficient and effective utilisation of the earth’s resources.
IoT, he explained, enabled interconnectivity of intelligent and self-conﬁguring embedded devices and sensors in a dynamic and global network infrastructure, enabling scalability, flexibility, agility and ubiquity in fields of massive scale multimedia data processing, storage, access and communications.
“However, there is need to improve the effectiveness of computer networks and management of data transmission as sustainable development efforts continue to depend on data management. Further to the need to monitor, analyse and act upon Big Data, many issues like data confidentiality, data verification, authorisation, data mining, secure communication and computation have come to the fore,” said Professor Atayero.
Also at the event were other members of the University Management, members of the University Senate, faculty, staff and students, family members of the Inaugural Lecturer and distinguished invited guests from the academia and other walks of life.