Capacity building in cybersecurity vital to protect national data: Alvi
ISLAMABAD – President Dr Arif Alvi, while emphasizing the importance of cybersecurity, said that amid the global challenges of cyber attacks, it is important for Pakistan to strengthen national cybersecurity capacity to protect its systems and important data, as cyber attacks could affect the country’s infrastructure and damage its economy.
The President was addressing the inaugural session of the 2nd Annual International Cyber Warfare and Security Conference.
He said that preparing indigenous professionals and solutions was vital to reducing the risk of cyber attacks, especially against the country’s defense, energy and financial infrastructure. The two-day event, hosted by the National Center of Cyber Security, Air University, discussed ways to strengthen cybersecurity and neutralize advanced threats.
President Alvi said that achieving strong cybersecurity capability was important for both defensive and offensive strategies as the world witnessed rapid technological advancement. He said that a national vision of a secure and robust digital ecosystem would lead the country to socio-economic development.
He mentioned that cyberspace has recently come to the attention of many developed and developing countries with reports of government websites being hacked and sensitive data stolen by foreign groups.
He said that with the advent of quantum computers in the future, it would become very difficult to secure a country’s data unless it produced its local hardware and software.
To raise awareness of cybersecurity, he said, Pakistan urgently needed to train graduates and human resources capable of tackling the challenges of cybersecurity.
The president, who on the occasion inaugurated the National Academy of Cybersecurity, praised the efforts of the Pakistani Air Force to become a ubiquitous and highly responsive cybernetic force.
Besides defense, Dr Alvi said, it was high time for Pakistan to protect its borders against all kinds of cyber attacks in areas such as politics, industry and culture.
PAF Director General C4I Air Vice-Marshal Abbas Ghumman outlined PAF’s priorities in working with academia to ensure cyber defense.
He mentioned in this regard the initiatives including artificial intelligence, strengthening the aerospace industry to gain autonomy, malware detection, hardware and software evaluation, creation of the first cybersecurity park of the PAF and the full operationalization of the PAF cyber command by March.
Air University Vice Chancellor Air Marshal (ret’d) Javaid Ahmed said for the PAF, the timely realization of cybersecurity amid major national security threats had gained momentum.
Huawei Pakistan Security Director said as cybersecurity becomes fundamental to businesses, Huawei is building a cooperative digital ecosystem in 170 countries with a comprehensive global security system.