Challenges of Securitising Cyberspace in Pakistan



With the rapid developments in the cyberspace domain, Pakistan has emerged as one of the fastest growing digital economies in the world. Pakistan’s internet penetration and teledensity are increasing exponentially, resulting in greater global connectivity. However, this connectivity has become a tool and target of conflict, crime and crisis which varies with respect to nature, occurrence and power. Pakistan is exposed to multidimensional cyber threats like computer malware, identity theft, economic data theft, cyber frauds and espionage attempts on critical infrastructures. However, the state institutions are ineffective to formulate a comprehensive national cybersecurity framework to counter these threats. This paper provides an in-depth analysis of the nature and severity of these cyber threats to the national security of Pakistan. It identifies the incorrect media framing of cybersecurity initiatives, the absence of relevant institutions, wide scope security debates, traditional security culture and non-inclusion of the audience as the major challenges to the successful securitisation of cyberspace in Pakistan.

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