KARACHI: Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque said on Monday that several Pakistani institutions, banks and important companies had been targeted by cyberattacks.
The government has to develop an integrated mechanism to not only stop cyberattacks on any public or private institution in the country but it should also be retaliated, Aminul Haque said this while speaking at the “Cyber Security Hackathon” held at a local hotel here on Monday. The two-day event was organised by the MoITT’s attached department Ignite.
“The event is a link in the chain through which we not only want to create an awareness among the public about cyber security but also bring forward those creative cyber security experts from across the country whose abilities are still hidden,” he said.
Member IT, Syed Junaid Imam, CEO Ignite Asim Shehryar, cyber security experts and a large numbers of people from the IT sector attended the event. Aminul Haque said there are millions of cyberattacks launched every day all over the world, including 5.5 million ransomware attacks through malicious software. “During the last year, such attacks almost cost 20 billion dollars to the international organisations,” he added.
He said the purpose of the “Cyber Security Hackathon” is to train and prepare cyber security experts in Pakistan under the country’s first cyber security policy issued by the MoITT. It will also test the capabilities of existing experts and train cyber security experts at the national level.
“These experts will prevent and respond to cyberattacks on national and private institutions. The event was attended by 266 cyber security experts from different districts of Sindh who will undergo a special test in which they will qualify for the next stage. The successful cyber security experts will not only receive huge cash prizes but also become a part of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) that will be formed.”
Aminul Haque also said that with an increase in the use of technology and online activities around the world, various types of cybercrimes are also emerging. He said if one looks at the international statistics, he realises the seriousness of cyber security situation. He also said such attacks show how insecure the data of our institutions and consumers is.
If the institutions still do not follow the instructions of the Ministry of IT, irreparable damage can be done. How to stay safe from cyberattacks is explained in detail in Pakistan’s first cyber security policy. Many institutions do not even have cyber security systems and experts. The minister invited the students of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in Pakistan and the youth planning for their bright future to join the most important field of cyber security.
He said according to the report of the World Economic Forum, cyber security jobs’ demand was ranked fourth in the world, which described that every fourth post in the world was vacant for cyber security experts.