Nigerian Cyber Security Prodigy, Dr Joseph Ehinome Ikhalia Wins Dean’s Prize for Doctoral Research Innovation

Dr Joseph Ehinome Ikhalia recently bagged a PhD in Computer Science from Brunel University and was awarded the Dean’s Prize for Innovation and Impact for his outstanding contributions in the field of Cybersecurity. The ambitious scope of Dr. Joseph Ehinome Ikhalia’s research is quite impressive, his PhD topic, “A Malware Threat Avoidance Model for Online Social Network Users” integrates aspects of behavioural sociology, malware threat avoidance behaviour, and technology threat avoidance theories to construct practical applications for online social network (OSN) users. 

By designing a novel Facebook Animation Application, namely “Social Network Criminal” (, Dr. Ikhalia put theories into practice, creating an interactive platform for gathering information about end-user behaviour. This multimodal social network application was designed to raise threat awareness, educate social network users in safe practice, and create a sense of community to reward smart security choices. Furthermore, in utilizing “Social Network Criminal”, Dr. Ikhalia was able to gauge end-user engagement and develop a model for effective education on both a micro and macro level. This demonstrates his fearless approach to innovative research.

Dr. Ikhalia used information gathered from “Social Network Criminal” to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the application’s effectiveness. By using the guidelines and findings of this research, Dr. Ikhalia feels practitioners will be able to develop security awareness systems that leverage the intra-relationship model of online social networks to combat the exponential rate of malware attacks.

Dr. Ikhalia’s research excellence has been recognized in multiple prestigious publications, most recently appearing in the 13th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security. Exhibiting his characteristic drive and commitment to excellence, he was also awarded Best Presentation at the first Computer Science Doctoral Consortium of Brunel University; Best Paper at the 15th International Conference on WWW/Internet and was first runner up for the 2017 “3 Minute Thesis” Competition held at Brunel University. Demonstrating impeccable professionalism, a spirit of innovation, and excellent research methodology, Dr. Joseph Ehinome Ikhalia is a Nigerian who is blazing the trail in the UK through hard work, commitment and a passionate desire to change the narrative positively.

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