In a strategic move to fortify Pakistan’s cybersecurity capabilities, the Ministry of IT and Telecom has decided to formally notify the National Computer Emergency Team (National CERT) under the newly enacted Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Rules 2023.
This decision is part of a comprehensive initiative aimed at enhancing the country’s resilience against cyber threats. Ministry officials highlight that the notification will pave the way for establishing not only the National CERT but also Sectoral CERTs, followed by the formation of the CERT Council.
The groundwork for the National CERT is already laid out, thanks to the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) project “Cyber Security for Digital Pakistan.” The infrastructure is ready, personnel are recruited, and necessary software and hardware are procured.
The recently launched PKCERT website is poised to play a crucial role in raising awareness about cyber threats, including cyber-attacks, cyber terrorism, and cyber espionage. Once the National CERT is officially notified, it will seamlessly integrate with the ongoing PSDP project, swiftly transitioning into the execution phase.
Officials emphasize the subsequent notification of Sectoral CERTs, emphasizing a holistic approach to cybersecurity beyond the national level.
In a more intricate step, the establishment of the CERT Council will follow the notification process. This Council, designed to include members from the National CERT, Sectoral CERTs, and various ministries/divisions, represents a sophisticated layer of coordination and collaboration.
Acknowledging the complexity of the Council’s composition, officials decide to finalize it after notifying both the National CERT and Sectoral CERTs.
The forthcoming National Cyber Emergency Response Team of Pakistan is envisioned as a pivotal government entity entrusted with safeguarding digital assets, sensitive information, and critical infrastructure. Its multifaceted role includes detection, prevention, and response to cyber threats, promoting cybersecurity awareness, conducting research and development, and implementing robust cybersecurity policies.
The Ministry of IT and Telecom also envisions fostering international cooperation in the realm of cybersecurity, emphasizing the global nature of cyber threats and the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing them.