Cyber security: Inside Pakistan’s first digital forensic research lab


November 27, 2016

While cyber security takes the front seat for military, economic, political and criminal investigation think-tanks across the globe, Pakistan lacks in securing the cyberspace for its people. But a university has taken upon itself to create a state-of-the-art facility to cater to the public and private needs.

Located in the suburbs of the provincial metropolis, the Lahore Garrison University (LGU) has started building the first-of-its-kind Digital Forensic Research and Service Centre (DFRSC).

The under-construction centre aims to provide academic solutions to the cyber security needs of the nation with plans to conduct research, survey, technical and non-technical training, certification, degree programmes and publish whitepapers in various fields of digital forensics.

The centre plans to become an all-in-one solution to Pakistan’s cyber security needs.

State of security

According to a recent cyber security report by Symantec titled Internet Security Threat Report, more than 430 million new unique pieces of malware were discovered in 2015, up 36 percent from the year before. The report states that over half a billion personal records were stolen or lost in 2015 and attacks on business have also seen an increase in the year and will continue to grow. The report says that smartphones are an increasingly attractive target for online criminals.

What to expect?

The lab has taken upon itself the mammoth task of addressing all the needs of Pakistan. The facility not only seeks to provide security solutions for the country but will also provide training to professionals, provide a platform to countercheck digital evidence, become an academic research varsity and a service provider to the cooperate sector of the country.

LGU Vice-Chancellor Maj Gen (retd) Obaid bin Zakaria told The Express Tribune the objective of the centre was to prepare digital forensic experts. “The centre is the first and one of its kind in the SAARC region,” he claims. “We are combining the elements of cyber security, cyber warfare, digital forensics, trainings for all tiers – technical and non-technical, research and preparing field-ready experts.”

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