'Govt to enforce security system to control cyber crimesÂ' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Govt to enforce security system to control cyber crimesÂ’

ISLAMABAD: A National Information Security Framework will soon be enforced to combat cyber crimes in the country, said Ammar Hussain Jaffri, the project director of the National Response Center for Cyber Crimes, on Thursday.

He said this while addressing the ‘International Information Security Conference 2006: Challenges for Pakistan’, organised by Total Communications and sponsored by the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), the World Call, the Netsol Technologies and the Juniper Networks. The participants of the conference, who expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s failure to take effective steps for combating cyber crimes, were informed that the government was also planning to introduce an Electronic Crimes Bill. The conference proposed that the government should establish a single body that had the responsibility to coordinate all efforts for controlling cyber crimes.

Lt Gen Malik Arif Hayat, the military’s information technology operations chief, said that in the modern world, Internet security had become a matter of national security. He said that people, businesses and various defense related issues were increasingly becoming dependent on the information technology, adding that the government should coordinate its efforts with all the stakeholders in the sector.

He said that traditional weapons that were symbols of national power — the military, economy, diplomacy – had become closely linked with the concept of information sharing and any misinformation could lead to a disaster. “Information is being increasingly used to shape the perceptions of allies and adversaries alike,” he said, adding that information propagation had become a powerful weapon, which could shape the will of any society.

“Diplomatic, military or economic means had never proved so effective to achieve state interests as the information technology has. However, Internet security is not receiving adequate government attention,” he said. He said that the private sector and the government should prefer developing integrated frame networks, while designing any security system. He said that any vulnerabilities and flaws in information networks could seriously undermine defense and economic interests of the country.

Yousuf Hussain, the PSEB managing director, said that a growth rate of 300 percent had been recorded in the Pakistani IT sector in the last three years. He said that more and more people and businesses were becoming dependent on information technology. “To keep the information secure, up-dated and integrated, proper security arrangements are necessary,” he said.

He said that Pakistan had exported different software worth $1 billion in 2005, while the total industry was worth $2 billion. He said that the PSEB had formulated a four-year roadmap to increase the size of the industry to $10 billion. “Ten strategic thrust areas have been identified, including IT parks and capital venture fields,” he said.

Tariq Pervez, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general, said that contemporary economic development was heavily dependent upon computers and information technology, which had exposed critical data to vulnerabilities. “Unscrupulous elements are exploiting the situation,” he said. He said that the issues of “hacking, tracking and attacking” were a major challenge facing the FIA and other security agencies. He said that trans-border electronic services were easily available to criminals and smugglers. He said that the efforts were needed to make electronic banking more secure, which could be attained by implementing international standards of security. “To combat this new breed of criminals, the government as well as the private sector must increase the level of mutual cooperation,” he said.

Sohail Qadir, the World Call Telecom Ltd chief operating officer, said that the government should come with remedial measures for resolving the problems being faced by the IT and communications sectors of the country. He said that World Call had introduced the latest technology in its operational networks to secure them. He said that the government and the private sectors should both join hands and combat hi-tech cyber crimes.

Afnan Karim Kundi, an advocate of the Supreme Court, said that a number of loopholes existed in the Western judicial systems that were being exploited by perpators of cyber crimes. He said Ministry of Information Technology had drafted an ‘Electronic Crimes Bill’, which was awaiting approval of the federal cabinet.

Saqib Khan of the Netsol Technologies, Zahid Ahmed Khan of the ISSA, Naji Robehmed of the Enterprise Territory, Filip A Schepers of the Internet Security Systems, Belgium, Ahmad Al Khatib of the British Standards Institution, Sadiq Panjwani of the Territory Service, IBM Pakistan, Shahzad Rasheed of the Cisco Systems, Pakistan, Michael Lavoshnikov of the Jet Infosystems, Russia also spoke on the occasion.
Source: Daily Times