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IT minister unveils cybersecurity measures | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

Underscores importance of PECA Act, commitment to combating cyber threats


Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr Umar Saif, highlighted the critical role of the PECA Act in protecting Pakistan’s cyberspace. Addressing the Digital Pakistan Cybersecurity Hackathon 2023 prize distribution ceremony on Wednesday, he highlighted the government’s commitment to combating cybercrime, online threats, and ensuring the security of citizens’ online activities.

Saif noted the establishment of a dedicated agency, the National Cyber Crime Investigation Agency, equipped to effectively address cybercrime issues. The National Cyber Emergency Response Team (National CERTS) has also been set up to enhance the security of Pakistan’s cyberspace, public and private data, business transactions, and citizens’ online interactions.

Expressing gratitude to participants, sponsors, and organisers, Saif acknowledged the pivotal role of such events in fostering innovation and collaboration within the dynamic field of cybersecurity. He commended the efforts of Team IGNITE in organising training workshops and hackathons, highlighting the significance of these initiatives in the face of evolving cyber threats.

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Highlighting Pakistan’s representation at the Blackhat cybersecurity competition in Saudi Arabia, the minister praised the teams’ achievements and expressed optimism for continued success in future competitions. Stressing the need for collaboration between the government, private sector, and academia, he called for ongoing support from the private sector to fortify cybersecurity defences.

In his welcome address, CEO of IGNITE, Asim Shehryar Hussain, highlighted the efforts of the IT Ministry and Ignite in identifying and nurturing cybersecurity talent. He underscored the progress made in establishing operational readiness for Pakistan’s NCERT and the imminent institutionalisation of a Cyber Security Authority.

The comprehensive programme included hands-on training sessions, regional hackathon rounds in multiple cities, and a grand finale where 21 teams from 6 cities competed for cash awards totalling Rs3 million. Additionally, participants in the training sessions received vouchers worth Rs6 million, with awards extended to the top 50 individuals.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2023.

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