National AI policy soon to secure digital banking: Amin

Published December 5, 2021
This photo shows Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Aminul Haq. — APP/File
This photo shows Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Aminul Haq. — APP/File

KARACHI: Amid growing threat of cybersecurity and frequent hacking of data systems even of national institutions, the federal government has focused more on counter measures and after first-ever Cybersecurity Policy, it’s soon going to launch national artificial intelligence (AI) policy which the industry experts believe would help securing mainly the digital banking system.

The development was shared by Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Aminul Haq while addressing a conference titled BlockChain at a local auditorium.

He was sure that the cybersecurity and excellence in AI had become crucial for the country’s smooth and strong economic system.

“Cybersecurity is the first important pillar of Digital Policy 2021 of IT Ministry,” he said. “Digital transformation of Pakistan corresponds with Cybersecurity. Pakistan’s first cybersecurity policy is approved by the federal cabinet this year. And now the government is fully committed to introducing national AI policy soon.”

He referred to recent attacks on the country’s banking systems and national institutions database which could not be compromised.

The minister’s thoughts came days after the cyberattack on the National Bank of Pakistan had almost paralysed digital and automated banking system.

Though the bank had claimed no data breach or financial loss due to the cyberattack, it took many weeks to restore the system.

Cybersecurity experts and AI professionals say if the government succeeds in bringing in and implementing the comprehensive policies in these two areas, the country’s banking industry and financial institutions would be among the key beneficiaries of the development.

Highlighting the importance of IT in economic development, he said that a leader is one who envisions future requirements of the nations. The IT ministry has been on the path of landmark steps to make Pakistan digital.

“The federal cabinet has already been made paperless by shifting work to tablets and android cell phones,” said the federal minister. “The governance of Parliament would also be made paperless by this government.” While bridging the gap between academia and industry, he stressed the need for close cooperation among academia, industry and the IT ministry in introducing emerging technologies in Pakistan.

He said the gap between academia and industry needs to narrow down and IT academicians must start supervising industrial projects through agreement between industries and universities.

Mr Haq expressed readiness of the IT ministry to work with industry and academia through trilateral agreement and bring up the recommendations of a committee on data protection, cybersecurity and collaborative modus operandi before the cabinet.

“Our ministry is committed to equip the 60 per cent of young population of Pakistan with IT expertise by providing 3G and 4G services especially in the remotest areas which are far away from urban centres,” he added.

Apart from experts from Pakistan, the conference also featured speakers from Europe, America and Middle East. They exchanged views and experiences on BlockChain technology.

Later, IR-Next Chairman Dr Khalid thanked the federal minister for taking landmark initiatives in the IT sector. The conference ended with distribution of awards to IR-Next team.

IR-Next is a solution provider organisation working on BlockChain, IOT and AI with public and private sector.

Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system.

A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2021

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