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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is all set to roll out its first indigenous cyber security system to analyze, detect and timely respond against rising data breach threats by March 2023.

Dr Muhammad Mukarram Khan, Director General, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said they are building National Telecom Security Operation Centre (SOC) and “the main theme is indigenization.”

“It would officially be rolled out by March 2, 2023,” he said, while speaking at the 5th International Conference titled ‘Cyber Threat Intelligence Summit 2022’ held at Islamabad on Wednesday.

The localized cyber security system would also remove the suspected threat of spying tolls used in imported security systems, he said at the one-day conference organized by Total Communications.

The three-year project is being done in collaboration with three partners. “It would be at par with the best international cyber security systems in three years down to road,” Khan said. Telecom SOCs would be integrated into the National Telecom SOC.

“We are going to collect and share threat intelligence (through the indigenized system),” Khan said.

Mohsin Mushtaq, Federal Secretary IT & Telecom, said that the government has finally reached consensus on draft rules for CERTs (Computer Emergency Response Team) this week that have become talk of the town these days. “CERTs provide basis to build cyber security system,” he said.

Pakistan is in the process of building a national level, sectoral and organizational level CERTs. They all would be integrated into the national CERT to timely detect and prevent cyber threats and attacks.

“Member IT and Member Legal finaly agreed on draft cert rules on Tuesday. The rules would be notified very soon,” Mushtaq said.

The CERTs are under process to protect the computerized land record, millions of Pakistanis data and family tree saved at National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), online bank accounts and digital banking, he said.

Syed Junaid Imam, Member IT, Ministry of IT & Telecom, said that Pakistan would launch the advanced internet 5G in 2023. Accordingly, they are advancing cyber security to provide high-level security to 5G users accordingly.

He said that federal and provincial governments are on the same page in building IT and telecom infrastructure and ecosystem in the country despite IT and telecom has become provincial subject after the 18th amendment.

The establishment of “one digital government” is under the way, Imam said.

Tauseef H. Farooqi, Chairman, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) said that the authority is building CERT to protect power sector from any vulnerability.

Pakistan is working to launch mini grids to light up a large number of isolated villages. “The building of such security systems (CERT) is a must...mini grid sounds very small, but they need the most modern IT systems to work.”

Ammar Jaffri, Director General, Centre of Information Technology (CIT) & Former Additional Director General, FIA, said that the cyber security has become more vulnerable with increased use of technology at around the globe.

Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan, said that nations around the world including Israel have made advancement in the field of technology as part of mid-schooling syllabus.

“We (Pakistan) need to set our direction right and no one can stop us from achieving that (the set goals),” he said.

Besides, the one-day conference held three panel discussions including (1) Key Infrastructure Protection, (2) OT Cyber Security Threats and Solutions, and (3) Role of CERTs in 21st Century Cyber Security.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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