The government in Pakistan has formed a cyber governance policy committee to implement a new national cyber security policy 2021 and counter the growing threat of online assaults on the country.

From now on a cyber-attack on any Pakistani institution will be considered an act of aggression against national sovereignty and the committee will oversee that all necessary and retaliatory steps are taken.

Previously government organisations tackled cyber security by themselves and the country was ranked as the seventh worst cyber-secure state by the Global Strategies Index and the Global Security Index in 2018.

With a cyber security policy in place, Islamabad will counter malicious use of information and communication technologies in cyberspace which pose a grave financial and security threat to Pakistan.

The IT ministry will help establish active cyber defence and cyber security governance, protect internet-based services, and ensure protection and resilience of critical information structures, including the government’s.

It will also develop an information security assurance framework, increase awareness of cyber security and develop cybercrime response mechanisms and regulations.

The policy also calls on all stakeholders to devise information sharing mechanisms to protect against cyber-attacks, monitor cybercrime and protect online privacy.

“The IT ministry and all relevant public and private institutions will be provided all possible assistance and support to ensure that their data, services, ICT products and systems are in line with the requirements of cyber security,” IT minister Syed Aminul Haq was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

Though information and communication technology (ICT) is becoming a key driving force for individuals, businesses, organisations and the government, the increased connectivity, mobility and versatility of digital services has exposed them to cyber threats, he added.

Those risks plus vulnerabilities in the digital world require a comprehensive, coordinated framework to ensure safe cyberspace for the citizens and businesses, he said.


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