The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has enhanced its cybersecurity infrastructure, implementing advanced IT solutions to protect its systems, including the Election Management System (EMS), from potential cyber threats.
In its efforts to safeguard against cyberattacks, the ECP has adopted ISO Global Security standards, a move that represents adherence to internationally recognized protocols for cybersecurity.
The commission’s technology team, comprising highly skilled IT professionals, has set up a Network Operation Center (NOC) and a Security Operation Centre (SOC), operating in line with global best practices.
The EMS system is equipped to function online and offline, offering Returning Officers (RO) a flexible and secure method to generate election results while adhering to standard policies. Importantly, the entire EMS ecosystem for data connectivity nationwide will be conducted over private networks, avoiding the vulnerabilities associated with the public internet.
Responding to the Rise in Cyber Threats
With increased sophisticated cyberattacks targeting government institutions and businesses, the ECP’s initiative is a timely response to the critical need for robust cybersecurity defences. It has been reported that government websites in Pakistan have faced over 100,000 foreign hacking attempts, highlighting the importance of these enhanced security measures.
Recent incidents, such as hacking confidential data from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), have heightened concerns about cyber vulnerabilities. Despite limited government resources allocated for cybersecurity infrastructure and expertise, the National Telecom and Information Security Board (NTISB), under the cabinet division, diligently monitors the security of government websites and issues advisories to counter cybersecurity threats effectively.