Cybersecurity Risks: A Sine Qua Non for University Libraries in Africa




Cybersecurity, risks, libraries, university, cyberethics, practices


In addressing the pressing issue of cybersecurity risks, it is imperative to situate academics’ focus within the specific context of university libraries in Africa. The realm of information management and academic resources in this region is not exempt from the escalating challenges posed by cyberthreats. It has become evident that a gap exists in understanding and effectively mitigating these risks within the unique environment of African university libraries. This article reports on a study which indicated that academic libraries may face threats, such as line tapping, improper system processing, and the use of malicious software. These threats bear significant consequences, such as the potential loss of sensitive data, damage to reputation, and financial losses. The study therefore examined cybersecurity risks in African university libraries and the need to promote cyberethical practices. The study employed a qualitative research approach based on the explanatory research method. In so doing, the use of a systematic literature review was adopted to examine cybersecurity risks in African university libraries and the imperative to promote cyberethical practices. Using a purposive sampling technique, the researchers collected articles published between 2015 and 2023 on the databases of Emerald and ResearchGate for the review. The study findings illuminated the multifaceted nature of cybersecurity risks, encompassing issues such as malware attacks, phishing, ransomware, and identity theft. These risks, if unaddressed, can lead to severe consequences, including intellectual property theft, reputational damage, and financial losses. Therefore, the study recommends that African university libraries should prioritise cybersecurity education for both staff and users; must develop and regularly update comprehensive cyberethics policies that address the unique challenges faced in the African context; and should explore avenues for improving their technological infrastructure. Investments in advanced security systems, regular software updates, and the adoption of emerging technologies will strengthen African university libraries’ resilience against cyberthreats.


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How to Cite

Oladokun, Bolaji, Emmanuel Oloniruha, Deborah Mazah, and Obediah Okechukwu. “Cybersecurity Risks: A Sine Qua Non for University Libraries in Africa”. Southern African Journal of Security, 14 pages.



Received 2023-11-14
Accepted 2024-02-05
Published 2024-03-06