ISLAMABAD:

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) on Thursday notified the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Rules 2023, which would help counter cyber attacks against government data.

In his message on X (formerly Twitter), Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Dr Umar Saif said that Pakistan needed to protect its cyber space against attacks.

“Today, we have taken the first step by establishing the national CERT for Pakistan; the national CERT and subsequent sector-specific CERTs will provide the institutional framework and capability to protect Pakistan’s cyber space and ensure swift responses in case of cyber attacks.”

Later in a statement, Saif said that the coordinated approach would ensure a robust defence against cyber threat.

He said that, as part of the new rules, the National Security Operations Centre would also be established to facilitate the practical implementation of the regulations.

Under the CERT Rules, both national and sector-level CERTs will be established and they will be responsible for monitoring and safeguarding Pakistan’s cyberspace round the clock.

According to the rules, the national CERT, funded by the Ministry of IT, will maintain close coordination with various sector-level CERT teams and will provide timely assistance, when needed.

The primary responsibility of the national CERT will be to coordinate with different CERTs to respond to threats or attacks on any systems or critical infrastructure or widespread attacks on information systems in Pakistan.

The government CERT will be responsible for ensuring cyber security and will handle matters related to the public sector at federal and provincial levels.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2023.

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