March 25, 2021: The ReCyP:HER-IBA team held a hybrid-virtual meeting for the joint project 'Rethinking Cybersecurity in Pakistan - Human Factors' Essential Role' funded by the European Union (Erasmus+) at the IBA Main Campus. ReCyP:HER is a project designed to create a comprehensive capacity building in Pakistan in cybersecurity and psychology. The project is funded by the European Union within the Erasmus+ programme.
The IBA team comprises of faculty members from the Computer Science and Social Sciences and Liberal Arts (SSLA) departments including, Project Director ReCyP:HER-IBA and Assistant Professor, Dr. Syed Irfan Nabi; Assistant Professor, Dr. Syed Muhammad Faisal Iradat; Assistant Professor and Chairperson SSLA, Dr. Sahar Nadeem Hamid and Assistant Professor, Dr. Zaheeruddin Asif.
Esteemed guests included the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Islamabad, Bernhard Schlagheck; Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan, Dr. Tariq Banuri and Vice-Chancellors, Rectors and Presidents of partner universities. Project partners include Erasmus+, Saarland University, Boğaziçi University, LUMS, NUST, Air University and the IBA Karachi.
Dean Air University, Mr. Adil Sultan started the proceedings and welcomed all the national and international participants to the meeting. Speaking on the event, Vice Chancellor Air University, Javaid Ahmed said that this project was geared towards resolving the cyber security challenges in Pakistan and making Pakistan's cyberspace secure.
Dr. Cornelius König from Saarland University discussed the cyber security challenges including security breaches and cyber-criminal activities and how they have increased by 160% in the years from 2006-2019. He spoke about updating the cybersecurity curricula in Pakistan to international standards. He also spoke about the establishment of cybersecurity awareness centers in the country to train cybersecurity specialists as well as students.
Director National Centre for Cyber Security (NCCS), Dr. Kashif Kifayat delved into the establishment of security cluster centres within leading universities, across Pakistan. These centres are working to aware people about cyber security crimes and how to resolve them. Under these centres various trainings and awareness campaigns have been conducted.
Associate Professor Boğaziçi University, Dr. Bilgin Metin expressed his appreciation at this joint collaborative project between, Turkey, Germany and Pakistan that will lead to academic excellence.
German Ambassador, Bernhard Schlagheck appreciated the joint coalition which has brought together leading universities from 3 countries together to support the cause of educating the masses about cybersecurity crimes. He also said that Germany supports various educational initiatives in Pakistan and has over 50 partnerships with Pakistani universities funded by Germany and the EU.
Chairman HEC, Dr. Banuri said that the HEC is striving towards garnering meaningful results from this collaborative and global partnership.
Addressing the audience, Executive Director IBA, Dr. S Akbar Zaidi commended the partnership between leading universities and said that the IBA has thriving Computer Science and SSLA departments which will add great value to the initiative. Furthermore, Dr. Zaidi extended an invitation to the partners to visit the IBA once the pandemic settles. He also commended his team for their efforts in making this partnership a possibility.
Dr. Kifayat concluded the inaugural session and said all the participants share common goals of strengthening the cybersecurity environment in Pakistan and thanked all the participants for their contributions.