ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of IT and Telecommunication (MoITT) on Thursday notified the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Rules 2023 to counter cyber threats against government data.
In a message on X (formerly Twitter), IT Minister Dr Umar Saif emphasised the need to protect Pakistan’s cyberspace against cyberattacks.
“Today we have taken the first step in establishing a National CERT for Pakistan, our national CERT and subsequent sectoral CERTs will provide the institutional framework and capability to protect Pakistan’s cyber space, and ensure swift responses in case of cyberattacks.”
Later in a statement, Dr Umar Saif said that this coordinated approach will ensures a robust defence against cyber threats. He said that as part of these new rules, the national security operations centre will also be established to facilitate the practical implementation of these regulations.
National security operations centre to implement regulations
Under the CERT Rules, both National and Sectoral-level CERTs will be established and the teams will be responsible to monitor and safeguard Pakistan’s cyberspace round the clock, including holidays.
One National CERT, funded by the Ministry of IT, will maintain close coordination with various Sectoral CERT teams, providing timely assistance when needed.
Its primary responsibility will be to coordinate between different CERTs in response to threats or attacks on systems, critical infrastructure data, or widespread information system attacks in Pakistan.
The Government CERT, responsible for cybersecurity in the public sector at federal and provincial levels, includes federal and provincial government CERTs. It serves as a coordinator between the national and sectoral CERTs, regularly reporting information and feedback to the National CERT.
Additionally, there will be a Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) CERT to oversee and coordinate between the National CERT and Sectoral CERTs. Sectoral CERTs encompass government and regulatory authorities, with local government CERTs falling under the respective provincial CERTs.
The CERTs will be established according to the composition outlined in the rules.
Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2023