Note: This article discusses about Pakistan Army’s cyber command as well as cyber commands of other forces. Article sheds light on importance of cyber command & cyber security.
COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s visit to Army Cyber Command
General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visited newly raised Army Cyber Command. COAS (General Qamar Javed Bajwa) also visited Cyber Division and Army Center of Emerging Technologies, two of the main components of Army Cyber Command.
“Nature and character of warfare is changing. Firepower and cyber have emerged as the mainstay of future war and we need to enhance our capability and capacity in these domains. The newly raised Cyber Command shall progressively be linked to Tri-Services level and will also form part of national cyber initiatives to have synergy at national level”, COAS.
Upon arrival General Qamar Javed Bajwa (COAS) was received by Commander Army Cyber Command Lieutenant General Asif Ghafoor. Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Lieutenant General Azhar Abbas and other senior Army officers were also present at the occasion.
Importance of Cyber Security
Cybersecurity is the protection of internet connected systems such as hardware, software, and data from cyber threats. It consists of all the practices and technologies that keep computer systems (hardware) and electronic data safe. According to the Cyber Security & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA),
“Cyber security is the art of protecting networks, devices and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.”
With the evolving technology, new ways of committing cybercrimes are emerging with each passing year. Every government or non-government institution faces a cyber-threat today even an individual with a mobile phone can be a victim of cybercrime. The primary role of the military of a country is to protect the nation and citizens. While evolving technology has revolutionized war strategies and opened a new domain for militaries called Cyber Warfare. Cyber Warfare is usually defined as a cyber-attack or series of attacks that target a country’s governmental/non-governmental institutions. These cyber-attacks can cause a widespread destruction on civilian and government infrastructure and can even paralyze whole state. Growing cyber security risks has made this much more difficult for the military institutions to safeguard their national interests.
To survive in the current digitalized world, it is important to have a better understanding of the cyber security. And for government and even non-government institutions it is necessary to adopt proper measures against cyberattacks (cyber warfare) to avoid falling a prey to it. (Ensure safety from the Cyber-attacks launched by adversaries).
Where Pakistan Armed forces stand in Cybersecurity?
For Pakistan Military it was necessary to have a Cyber Security Command. It will protect the military’s digital assets from being stolen by adversaries. Pakistan Armed forces have always insured balance of power in the region and have realized the evolving war domain’s importance and have taken measures accordingly.
As Pakistan Airforce is already leading the electronic warfare in South Asia. It has always remained second to none in adopting new warfare strategies and countermeasures to dominate adversaries. Pakistan air force has already established a separate cyber command which safeguards the digital assets. On 23 November 2021, President Islamic Republic of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi, inaugurated Pakistan’s first ever National Cyber Security Academy at the opening ceremony of International Conference on Cyber Warfare & Security 2021 (ICCWS 2021) at PAF Complex, Islamabad.
Pakistan Navy also has a Cyber Security Department in Pakistan Navy Engineering College (PNEC) which was established in June 2019. According to Pakistan Navy,
“The primary objective of the department is to effectively run and manage MS Cyber Security Programmes. However, our aim is to make this departmental Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Research in Pakistan and the world over. The mission of the programme is to educate and train the national workforce as per international standards/ curriculum; to defend and combat the internal & external cyber security threats to national critical infrastructures ensuring their Availability, Integrity & Confidentiality of relevant data/ information & systems at all times.”
Now Pakistan Army has also established an Army Cyber Command, which consists of two main components
- Cyber Division
- Army Center of Emerging Technologies
The three branches of Pakistan Armed forces (Army, Airforce, and Navy) have established cyber commands to deal with the cyberattacks launched by adversaries.
Author: Ali Hassan