Pakistan Urged to Embrace AI for Cybersecurity at Karachi Conference

At a pivotal cybersecurity conference held in Karachi, experts highlighted a critical lag in Pakistan’s digital security measures, advocating for an immediate shift towards artificial intelligence (AI)-infused predictive cybersecurity. The conference, titled “Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Cyber Security,” was organized by the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) and brought together specialists who emphasized the urgency of bridging the two-decade gap between Pakistan and the developed world in terms of cybersecurity.

Ammar Hussain Jaffri, a former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) official and ex-chief of the National Response Centre for Cyber Crime (N3RC), pointed out that Pakistan’s cybersecurity efforts have been predominantly reactive. Jaffri called for the adoption of AI-driven cybersecurity that can anticipate and neutralize threats with up to 90% accuracy, citing its successful application in identifying irregularities within the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

The conference also shed light on the extensive implications of cyber warfare, with Rahim Ali, the CTO of an international outsourcing firm, underscoring the need for robust cybersecurity that extends beyond computers to protect critical national infrastructures.

Maliha Masood, an IT risk management professional, stressed the necessity for strategic collaboration between various actors in cyberspace, pointing out the regulatory challenges that impede ‘good actors’ while ‘bad actors’ operate unrestrained.

A significant concern raised at the event was the vulnerability of modern weaponry to AI manipulation, with experts urging the development of indigenous arms to mitigate such threats.

The conference concluded with a unanimous call for the government to actively promote cybersecurity awareness and foster a culture of innovation to safeguard Pakistan’s digital frontier against the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

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