ISLAMABAD - Expressing concerns over the continuous occurrence of cyber security incidents in the national energy sector, NEPRA Chairman Tauseef H Farooqi on Tuesday stressed the need to develop a comprehensive cyber security governance model to deal with this challenge and promote security. 

He expressed these views while addressing a session on “Cyber security challenge in critical infrastructure (Power Sector)” at the NEPRA Tower. The event was organised by TechAccess Pakistan in collaboration with its industrial partner RTA

Purpose of the event was to solicit awareness amongst national public and private sectors’ energy power entities against the global risks of cyber-attacks. A large number of power sector’s professionals, trade and business representatives and NEPRA members and professionals attended the session.

Highlighting the importance of the session, the NEPRA chairman said, “Cyberspace is the 21st century’s new warzone. Most of the cyber-attacks in 2021 and 2022 were focused on energy sector. Cyber security is more challenging within power sector due to dispersed geo-locations of generation plants and interdependence between OT and IT infrastructure.” 

He said, “Cyber security incidents are now ‘Eco-System’ challenges because it is not just one electricity supply chain actor that is targeted but the weakest link in somewhere in country’s power system.”

In his remarks, CTO Tariq Malik emphasised that the recent cyber-attacks by means of “viruses” or other known methods against primary energy operators are once again reminding us that we are now facing a very expensive “digital pandemic” which has become an “endemic” in security monitoring.

He explained that in fact, many events of cyber incidents are continuously emerging at global level on several OT systems on different industrial technological plants with a fluctuation of increases and temporary apparent decreases in the number of cases identified.  

CEO of TechAccess Pakistan, Mehmood Jabbar, in his remarks said that their company took as a mission to have a national under-controll cyber security solution which is able to manage in a secure way its H24 support to national corporates and governmental authorities by the adaptation of RTA and ISOC to the operational requirements and IT/OT infrastructures for its most sensitive customers.