ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication on Thursday notified the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Rules, 2023, aimed at bolstering cyber security defences.

In the exercise of the power conferred by Section 51, read with Section 49 of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act (PECA), 2016, and in compliance with the National Cyber Security Policy (NCSP), 2021, the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication (MoITT) as a designated organisation of the federal government to deal with cyber security has formulated the CERT Rules.

CERT Rules – 2023 provides a legislative umbrella to handle ever-emerging cyber-security risks and vulnerabilities at the national, sectoral, and organizational levels by laying out a working mechanism in the form of technical support, operational facilities, and capacity-building services.

Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr Umar Saif said the initiative aimed at enhancing Pakistan’s cyber security measures, preventing potential cyber threats to the country’s data, and ensuring swift responses in case of cyber-attacks.

Under these rules, both National and Sectoral-level Computer Emergency Response Teams will be established and the teams are tasked with the responsibility of monitoring and safeguarding Pakistan’s cyberspace 24/7, including during holidays, he said.

The minister said, the National CERT, funded by the Ministry of IT, will maintain close coordination with various Sectoral CERT teams, providing timely assistance when needed.

This coordinated approach, he said, will ensure a robust defence against cyber threats. He said that as part of these new rules, the National Security Operations Centre will also be established to facilitate the practical implementation of these regulations. Dr Saif announced that the notification for the establishment of the IT CERT Council will be issued in the coming days.

The council will consist of members from various government bodies, including the secretary of IT as the chairman, along with representatives from the Ministry of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Interior, and Cabinet Division.

Furthermore, the council will include members from the National Security Division, the telecom sector, industry, academia, and civil society.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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