Digital security framework formulated

It demonstrates commitment to providing safe digital space for everyone

Usman Hanif July 08, 2022
The purpose of the programme was to train and prepare cyber security experts in Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE


Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has announced the formulation of Cyber Security Framework (CSF) to improve digital security in the country.

Through extensive consultation and deliberation with the telecom industry and leading cyber security experts, PTA has formulated CSF, according to a PTA statement.

“It is a giant leap towards cyber security,” said information and communication technology expert Kapeel Kumar. “After this policy framework, Pakistan can jump from 14th to fifth position in this region on the Global Cybersecurity
Index (GCI).”

“It demonstrates the government’s commitment to cyber security and providing a safe digital space for everyone,” he said. “GCI is a capacity development tool to help the stakeholders in identifying areas of improvement and highlighting best practices for strengthening national cyber security.”

The framework is based on the Critical Telecom Data and Infrastructure Security Regulation (CTDISR) of PTA and defines the obligation for auditors and PTA licensees, the statement said.

It provides guidance to the auditors on performing the gap assessment in light of the PTA’s cyber security regulations including interpretation and expectations against each security control, where necessary.

As part of the framework, a maturity model has also been devised, whereby the controls have been classified on the basis of their criticality, it added.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) gives value to the Cyber Security Framework of each member state while calculating the GCI.

ITU first launched the GCI in 2015. The Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) of the ITU serves as the initiative’s broad foundation and framework, said SI Global CEO Noman
Ahmed Said.

“Cyber security is critical to nations, businesses, and even individuals as it safeguards all types of data against theft and loss.”

Despite Covid-19 affects and increasing flow of everyday socio-economic services into the digital world, countries are attempting to strengthen their cyber security, he said.

Pakistan ranks 79 on the GCI ranking for 2020 in terms of cybersecurity measures. Pakistan is facing cyber-attacks against people, organisations and the government as well.

Building a cyber security framework that caters to the domestic audit needs was absolutely critical, Alpha Beta Core (ABCore) CEO Khurram Shehzad said. “It is a good development; now we need to make it on par with the global standards for risk and audit protocols.”

MOIT and PTA have taken several steps to initiate cyber security measures. PTA’s cyber security will help in various technology tools in order to assimilate them into the national infrastructure.

It is great news that PTA has introduced cyber security regulations. It will safeguard digital security, increase efficiency and seamless processing of transactions with enhanced safety and sustainable expansion, Said commented.

The PTA framework works as a gap assessments tool in light of its cyber security regulations, including, if necessary, interpretation and expectations against every other security control.

The framework will enable enterprises to effectively manage and mitigate cybersecurity risk, and it is a key step towards enhancing the security environment in the telecom industry, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2022.

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