Webinar on ““Securing Pakistan’s Cyber Domain: Challenges and Opportunities””

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The Arms Control and Disarmament Centre (ACDC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organised a webinar on “Securing Pakistan’s Cyber Domain: Challenges and Opportunities” on March 16, 2022. The webinar was moderated by Malik Qasim Mustafa, Director, Arms Control & Disarmament Centre (ACDC).

Welcome Remarks by Malik Qasim Mustafa, Director, ACDC

The growing reliance on cyberspace has fundamentally transformed every facet of our lives. It has the potential to revolutionise our future including our national security as contemporary global communication and connectivity are becoming increasingly dependent on cyber technologies. This dependency has exposed and increased the vulnerability of the cyber domain for its misuse for criminal activities, cybercrimes and cyber warfare, including cyber security threats or attacks against critical infrastructures. Knowing such potential misuse of cyberspace, states are ensuring the protection of cyberspace from cyber threats and cyber warfare to safeguard their social, economic and national security interests. States are introducing strong data protection laws and regulations to ensure secure access to such technologies, their application and the realisation of their true potential.

Pakistan has already embarked upon this path of digital transformation under the slogan “Digital Pakistan.” Pakistan envisions “having a secure, robust and continually improving nationwide digital ecosystem ensuring accountable confidentiality, integrity and availability of digital assets leading to socio-economic development and national security.” To materialise this digital transformation, Pakistan has taken several initiatives including drafting Pakistan’s Cyber Security Policy 2021 and attaches top priority to securing Pakistan’s cyberspace in its National Security Policy 2022-2026. However, there is a need to raise awareness, promote cyber security culture, bridge the technological divide, develop cyberspace norms and address other related challenges at the national level. This requires a comprehensive and result-oriented discussion among all relevant stakeholders.

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