KARACHI: TeleCard Ltd has been awarded an IT and cybersecurity contract by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) amounting to Rs100 million, a stock filing said on Wednesday.

“This contract involves supply, installation, maintenance and technical support of next generation Intrusion Detection and Protection Systems (IDPS) to secure the SBP’s infrastructure from Advance Persistent Threats,” it said.

TeleCard Ltd owns 100 per cent shares of Supernet Ltd that, in turn, owns Supernet Secure Solutions Ltd, which handles the cybersecurity business on behalf of its parent company.

Speaking to Dawn, Supernet Secure Solutions Ltd CEO Jamal Nasir Khan said the growing pace of digitisation in the country has highlighted the need for enhanced cybersecurity. “Everything is moving online, especially after Covid-19. The number of cybersecurity-related breaches has also gone up, which means companies need to invest more in their IT infrastructure,” he said.

This IDPS solution will let the SBP detect vulnerable exploits and unidentified threats originating against any targeted system, applications or hardware. In addition, the IDPS will provide remedial measures as and when any malicious behaviour is detected.

“This solution will operate by scanning all network traffic on the SBP’s gateways, detecting and protecting against threats like DoS, DDoS, worms and viruses... creating a second layer of defence to the SBP’s security framework,” the statement said.

TeleCard Ltd is planning to list Supernet Ltd on the Pakistan Stock Exchange to seek “new revenue streams and create fiscal space”. The company is aiming to sell off one-quarter of its shareholding in Supernet Ltd while retaining 75pc stake post-listing.

Effective Oct 2021, TeleCard Ltd restructured its loan as the company had raised Rs2.4 billion through a term finance certificate (TFC) a few years ago. It paid back Rs1.7bn and the end-of-September financial statements showed the outstanding TFC amounted to Rs736.2m.

Under the restructuring terms, the principal amount is redeemable over 20 equal quarterly instalments beginning from March 2022. However, in case Supernet Ltd is listed and the proceeds from the offer are equal to or exceed Rs250m, then the three quarterly installments of the principal that immediately fall due will be paid in a bullet payment.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2021

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