Cyber threats to Digital Pakistan.


Byline: Mubeen Ashraf

Heavy reliance on computers and the internet has altered the life of a common man in a number of ways. It is perceived that the world which is apparently so large has dwindled to a number of devices and gadgets. The use of technology is a common practice as from communicating through e-mail to carrying out transactions electronically, going to places for study to e-learning and flourishing businesses through e-business, everything comes under one thing. And for now, even governments, militaries, and national security organisations are dependent on computer networks.

This dependency of nation-states on the internet has urged the attention of a number of state and non-state actors to intervene and exploit the vulnerabilities in cyberspace. As cyberspace has become the new place for terrorists and criminals for the glorification of their acts such as recruitment of fellow terrorists, motivating others using several platforms, providing tools for communications and trainings of the potential recruits and broadcasting of illegal and violent content all in real life with anonymity in a much cheaper way.

Knowing the fact that there is a dark side of surfing the internet where criminals, terrorists, pedophiles and hackers can carry out their activities illegally. These activities are carried out in Dark Web, Dark Net or Deep Web where data and information are password locked and where the user is required a special software (TOR in most cases) to operate and where the data is trapped behind pay walls. Taking the advantage of their anonymity, individuals and groups can use cyberspace to threaten and harass citizens, specific groups, communities and even countries as well. The growing use of cyberspace for such illegal and criminal activities has already warned states to look in to the matter with serious concentration.

The notion of Digital Pakistan is intriguing and is a subject worth paying attention to. A brain child of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Digital Pakistan wants to unleash the full potential of women and young people in the economy by using e-governance as a tool to promote inclusion and do away with various forms of graft. Simultaneously, accepting the fact that there are certain areas in cyber security domain that needs attention. With this one can perceive the high risks entangled with cyber security and if these vulnerabilities are not addressed and mitigated on time can make ones present unstable and future...

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