NITB Urgently Seeks License Renewal Relaxation for Ministries’ Cybersecurity

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NITB said Critical licenses for firewalls and switches safeguarding 32 ministries/divisions from cyber threats are set to expire on January 23, posing a substantial risk to their cybersecurity and essential services. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has submitted a request to the Cabinet for relaxation in Pakistan Public Regularity Authority (PPRA) rules to facilitate the renewal of these licenses.

Firewalls and switches, essential for cyber protection and service continuity, were initially procured with a three-year subscription, support, and maintenance, expiring on January 23. NITB has emphasized the urgency of timely renewals, aligning with NTISB recommendations. While 12 divisions have responded, many express budget constraints, urging NITB to proceed with procurement.

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To address the impending risk and align with PPRA guidelines, NITB proposes a centralized Request for Proposal (RFP) issuance for license renewal and support services. The proposal includes provisions for vendors to accept Purchase Orders from individual Ministries/Divisions, constituting a Special One-Time Procurement Committee to finalize vendors, and allowing NITB to sign agreements on behalf of all Ministries/Divisions.

The estimated cost for renewing licenses, maintenance, and support for 32 divisions is approximately Rs. 230 million. Ministries/Divisions are urged to secure funds by January 15, with the Finance Division providing support if needed. The Federal Cabinet’s prompt directive to arrange funds ensures a streamlined process for timely license renewal and cybersecurity maintenance. Stay updated on this critical cybersecurity initiative for enhanced governmental cyber resilience.

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