Experts stress need to revisit cybersecurity strategies


Speakers at two separate conferences on cybersecurity have stressed the need to revisit the security strategies in order to ensure that people, especially the youth, do not fall prey to the agenda of the enemy.

The conference titled ‘Peace Building and Cybersecurity’ was held at Gomal University, Tank Campus, on Wednesday, while at Qurtaba University of Science and Information Technology, DI Khan, on Thursday. A large number of faculty members, academicians, intellectuals, cybersecurity experts and students participated in the sessions.

Addressing the conference, the speakers said cybersecurity is a complex issue, which requires in-depth analysis from various perspectives to formulate the counter strategies. They said subversion on religious, sectarian, ethnic and social issues through a soft offensive by using internet and the cyberspace needs a comprehensive counter strategy to ensure that people do not fall prey to the agenda of the adversaries.

The speakers said amid ongoing digital transformation and expanding cyberspace, the growing prevalence and severity of cyber-attacks is posing a serious threat to the global economy, national security, peace and stability and relations between states and regions. They apprised the participants as to how negative elements misuse the cyberspace by cyber-bullying, identity theft and loss of private data.

Highlighting the risks of hacking and misuse of personal information, they cautioned the young students about terrorist groups increasingly using cyberspace for recruitment and radicalisation of the youth. They explained how the children may unwittingly expose their families to online risks, for example by accidentally downloading malware that could give cybercriminals access to very sensitive personal information. While discussing the good practices in using social media platforms, they underscored the importance of personal data and significance of its protection.

The speakers highlighted the role schools can play in sharing good practices in order to promote safe surfing guidelines. They suggested that a nationwide campaign can be launched in schools to make children aware of the potential risks of the internet. To meet the challenges, colleges and universities should produce cyber leaders and cyber managers, they underlined, and also called for urgent steps to build consensus among stakeholders to develop a comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy.

On the occasion, Islamic International School System Principal Ishrat Batool threw light on role of women in establishment of a peaceful and inclusive society. Different videos were also played to raise awareness among the students, teachers and parents about darker and inappropriate side of the internet and the need to adopt methods of safe internet browsing. Brochures on Paigham-e-Pakistan declaration were also distributed during the ceremony besides award of certificates among the participants.

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