Call for adopting holistic approach to address cyber, network security challenges
PESHAWAR: Speakers at a five-day Hands-on Network Security training and workshop emphasized upon strengthening of national cyber security capabilities through development and well-coordinated mechanisms, implementation of security standards and regulations under a policy and legislative framework to mitigate cyber threats being faced by the country. They said that Pakistan should have 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. All these requirements are identified in the National Cyber Security Policy 2021 of Pakistan that was approved by the federal cabinet on July 28, 2021, they added. The speakers stressed that the Networks of Academic Campuses needs to be secured. Network Access Control (NAC), Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI), Firewalls and Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) technologies must be used in academic campuses and enterprises to control illegitimate user access over the organization network. The workshop was organized for the faculty and women network engineers of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, Peshawar at the varsity here by Riphah Institute of Systems Engineering, Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan. The lead resource person, Shehab Abdo Ali Al Shawafi, Arsalan Ali Khan, Zain Akhtar and Ahmed Iftikhar discussed the use of Firewalls and Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems for safety and security in detail. They said that the objective of the project was to train the women network engineers of Pakistan in network security with a view to empower them to avail best job openings in the market. The participants of the workshop were briefed about the vulnerabilities in protocols and their exploitation in-depth to provide them with a better understanding of how to secure their data on the internet from hackers. The participants were also guided about the use of public-key cryptography and infrastructure. Speakers told that Cyberbullying (Cyber Harassment), which happens online with women and children needs an appropriate response requiring different approaches to support the victims. They said that the victims should cooperate with the departments concerned to initiate legal action against the bully so as to prevent and eliminate such criminal practices from society. Pointing out the effects of cyberbullying, the trainers said that cyberbullying causes depression, isolation, illness, anger, low self-esteemed, and suicide. It was recommended to block the bully, save the evidence, share the incident with a trusted person and do not reply. It was also suggested not to use personal equipment like mobile phones, cameras, memory sticks or laptops, for school business. The participants were told that in case of bullying there is a complaint cell for women dealing with women harassment issues all across the country named “NR3C at FIA”; besides a harassment case can also be filed, if the account of the person being bullied is being misused. Discussing punishment for cyber harassment-related crimes, the Resource Person said spreading false information about an individual is punishable up to three years imprisonment or up to one million rupees fine or both. Making or spreading explicit images or videos of an individual is a crime actionable with imprisonment up to five years or up to Rs 5 million fine or both. Similarly, making or spreading explicit images or videos of minors is also punishable by up to seven years in prison or up to Rs 5 million penalty or both. The law also clearly defines three years imprisonment or up to one million rupees fine for Cyberstalking hacking email or phone. The crime of making videos/pics and distributing without consent is punishable by up to three years’ incarceration or up to one million rupees fine or both, the Resource Persons said. – APP