National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Chairman Tauseef Farooqi Thursday asserted the need for power companies to be regulated under the NEPRA's OT/IT Cybersecurity regulation 2022.
"NEPRA's OT/IT Cybersecurity regulation 2022, must be applied by all power sector companies in 2023," the power regulator's chief said while addressing Pakistan's first OT (Operational Technology) cybersecurity conference organised by ACET Solutions.
Also present at the occasion, President Dr Arif Alvi also spoke about the significance of cybersecurity in Pakistan deeming it a national priority for the country.
"Cybersecurity is a national priority for the survival of the nation," the president said.
President Alvi insisted on the need to invest in the skills and young people to "protect our civilisation".
Operational Technology, popularly referred to as OT, is the systems that control physical equipment in electricity grids, water plants, oil and gas plants, mining, manufacturing, transportation and other critical infrastructure or industry.
The conference was attended by speakers from the world's largest OT cybersecurity technology vendors, such as Fortinet — a cyber security company — who stressed the need for Pakistan's OT to be secured warning that the lack of cybersecurity would result in shutdowns, or even worse, human injury.
The nationwide electricity blackout in January claimed to have allegedly been an attack by a foreign hacking group (APT), was highlighted by the president and various speakers as a wake-up call for OT cybersecurity in Pakistan.
"Fortinet, the world's largest cybersecurity technology vendor, supports Pakistan's growth in cybersecurity resilience," said Fahad Faisal, the company's business development manager.
Meanwhile, ACET Solutions' Mubarik Mustafa, said that the company will support Pakistan's journey in protecting its critical infrastructure, as the largest OT security services company in the region.
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