The federal government will spend Rs. 1.5 billion to establish the country’s first National Cyber Security Academy (NCSA).
The cost of the project was originally over Rs. 5 billion. According to the official documents, it has been reduced to Rs. 1,500 million due to the current economic situation.
According to the documents, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) will contribute Rs. 240 million to this cyber security academy project. The project’s foreign exchange component is Rs. 180 million, with PSDP funding of Rs. 1,320 million.
The cyber security academy project is sponsored by Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission (HEC) and is being carried out by Air University Islamabad. The project will take 36 months to complete.
The President of Pakistan successfully inaugurated NCSA on November 23, 2021, recognising its national relevance and the commitment of the Government of Pakistan and HEC to achieving the academic goals of the National Cyber Security Policy 2021. The approval of the NCSA is an important step toward gaining control of a domain critical to Pakistan’s national security. The NCSA will strengthen Pakistan’s cyber security capabilities and serve as a stepping stone to further progress in the sector, in addition to producing and nurturing a professional workforce.
The National Cyber Security Academy at Air University (AU) will be equipped with cutting-edge academic facilities, highly qualified human resources, and in-house industrial space in the form of a Cyber Security Incubation and Business Centre.
The proposed project has four major development components:
- A cutting-edge structure
- Advanced academic facilities and labs, cyber security industry in-house space
- Human resource expertise
The academy will hire national and international experts as permanent and part-time academics and researchers. The following are the proposal’s key features:
- Undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma, and special hi-tech programs/courses in various domains of cyber security are available.
- NCSA will incorporate the existing AU cyber security, information security, and development labs.
- Create a national cyber range, multiple security labs for training, and next-generation research labs for advanced level R&D in specific domains for the development of indigenous cyber security tools and technologies.
- Create a national platform for interacting, training, and leveraging the strengths of the country’s existing cyber setups.
- Create a certification framework for indigenous cyber security software/hardware tools, as well as a screening process for foreign products received in the country for key organisations.
- Collaborate with global cyber security leaders to form academic and entrepreneurship partnerships.
By having its own strong R&D base, the Cyber Security Business Park will assist the local Cyber Security industry and stakeholders in meeting Cyber Security self-reliance objectives. As a result, highly qualified HR would be trained and retained, completing the Cyber Security Ecosystem. This will aid future design and technological activities in Pakistan’s Cyber Security industry.
Business Park for Cyber Security
NCSA will also build a much-needed bridge between academia and industry in order to improve R&D capabilities by realizing a dream product-related research, the continuation of design activity in an academic institution, and access to an R&D and technical knowledge bank of Cyber technologies.