Pakistan Needs A Cyber Army To Counter Emerging Risks

Cyberspace is an exceptional, human-made domain that was created for the facilitation of communication and can be characterised as a worldwide interconnected infrastructure. It has enabled free interchange of data via a networked system for more than half of the world’s population. Emerging threats in cyberspace currently pose new hazards and challenges to societies around the world. These threats have the potential to undermine the safety of citizens and disrupt political, social and economic life.

To intellectualise cyberspace security, we need to understand the difference between two risk magnitudes: risk to cyberspace and risk through cyberspace. The risk of cyberspace can be considered as a threat to the physical infrastructure of communication technologies. The threat through cyberspace, on the other hand, is a danger posed by cyberspace itself and is enabled by the usage of its technologies.

The risk to cyberspace

Even though the internet was developed to become a mainly strong network, its growth and change of status from a small web of interconnected devices to the global hub of social and economic life introduced a wide range of security vulnerabilities to its physical structure. After being targeted many times with a malicious intent to bring disruption, many states have acknowledged cyberspace as a ‘key national asset’ and have planned to establish special organizations that will protect critical infrastructure, thereby reducing risks to the normal functioning of the network.

It is important to remember that cyberspace is a prerequisite for the existence of universal capitalism in its current form. Therefore, emerging risks to cyberspace threaten to undermine international capital marketplaces and disturb prevailing economic order. Consequently, the security needs of cyberspace infrastructure and flow of information coincide with some of the national security essentials and have to be sheltered by government actors. To this end, the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) and the National Security Agency (NSA) have established national encryption standards and protection protocols.

Furthermore, the task of safeguarding critical…