The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is investing around Rs100 million to strengthen its cyber security system.

The central bank has awarded a contract in the information technology (IT) and cyber security domain to Supernet Limited – a subsidiary of Telecard Limited, according to a notice sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The contract involves supply, installation, maintenance and technical support of Next Generation Intrusion Detection and Protection Systems (IDPS) to secure SBP infrastructure from Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), according to the notification.

“This IDPS solution will provide SBP with state-of-the-art detection of vulnerable exploits and unidentified threats originating against any targeted system, application or hardware.” In addition, it will provide remedial measures when any malicious behaviour is detected.

“It will operate by scanning all network traffic on SBP’s gateways, detecting and protecting against threats like denial of service, distributed denial of service, worms and viruses, additionally creating a second layer of defence to the security framework.”

Talking to The Express Tribune, SI Global CEO Noman Ahmed Said remarked “with recent attacks on different strategic sites, this is a much-needed action.” However, much more would be needed, he said, adding that a separate department of stakeholders should be set up to fight cybercrime.

“There is a dire need for a national response centre in Pakistan in the wake of increasing cybercrimes,” he maintained.

He was of the view that a comprehensive policy should be developed to overcome the challenges posed by cybercrimes. Threat prevention and detection was a collective effort of security and network teams, but “unfortunately, two separate departments at times do not work in harmony”, he underlined.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2021.

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