Effective strategy needed to counter cyber attacks, secure national data: President Alvi

Staff Reporter

President Dr Arif Alvi has said that with Pakistan’s advancement towards digitalization, risk of cyberattacks also grew manifold thus increasing the need of effective strategy to counter these threats and securing national data.

Addressing the awards distribution ceremony of the first nationwide Cyber Security Hackathon 2021 on Tuesday, the President said cyber data had become the most valuable commodity world over and stressed that Pakistan direly needed to produce millions of graduates in the field of cyber security.

The Hackathon themed as ‘Hackers Ignited – Journey of young cybersecurity warriors’, was organized by Digital Pakistan under the Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom, and Ignite.

Dr. Arif Alvi said throughout the world including Pakistan, the infrastructure of vital importance such as banking system, credit card data, telecommunication, electricity and dams, hospitals, etc were digitalized and pointed out that anything linked with the internet or cloud was “susceptible to cyber or ransomware attacks”.

He said the recent cyberattacks on the system of the Federal Board of Revenue and National Bank of Pakistan drew the attention towards an effective guard to defeat the cyber threats.

With changing concepts of security, the country’s defence was linked with enhanced awareness and capabilities to develop and deploy a proper mechanism.

President Alvi said a paradigm shift in policymaking was needed to abreast the country with an ‘offensive and defensive cybersecurity.

Instead of traditional brick-and-mortar educational facilities, the short-term online and virtual courses could also prepare the human resource for the market, he added.

He mentioned that the government was offering 50,000 scholarships for students in different academic disciplines with a fifty percent disbursement allocated for girls.

Dr. Arif Alvi distributed awards and cash prizes worth Rs 6 million among the winners of the Hackathon competitions.