Industry not ready to tackle cyber-attacks

KARACHI: Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Wednesday said internet-related crimes are on the increase necessitating a strategy to deal with the threat as the majority of the industry and small business are unprepared to deal with cyber-attacks.

Hackers are getting aggressive and they have the ability to push the world into a serious financial crisis by getting access to sensitive information, it said.

Cybercrimes has become the biggest threat the world is facing which has frightened masses and shaken their confidence in financial service institutions, it said.

The increasing cybercrimes and incidents of security breach have started hurting local and global trade which can gain momentum if not countered, said Shahid Rasheed Butt, Patron ICST.

He noted that natural calamities resulted in losses of 300 billion dollars in 2017 while losses due to cybercrimes were three times greater as not a single country in the world is fully prepared to face the threat.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said the banks and other institutions unprepared for cyber-attacks; they should beef up their security while central bank should improve its capacity and employ expert ethical hackers.

Cybercriminals not only hit banks and financial institutions but they also target SMEs, infrastructure and other soft targets hurting millions, he said.

He noted that internet crimes usually engage people from various geographic areas, therefore, finding and penalizing the guilty is very complicated.

Artificial intelligence will lead to ground-breaking possibilities in a host of fields but it must be kept in mind that cyber threat actors can also use this technology to cause havoc.

The business leader said that government should improve cyber security by improving FIA which has only ten experts and it could only register around 200 cases in the whole year which is a joke.

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