Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for the information and communication technology division, said it is all hands on dock to combat the looming cyber threats facing Smart Bangladesh in the years ahead.
At a seminar held at the Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) on Sunday, he called upon fellow countrymen to rally behind Prime Minister's ICT adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy's directives on artificial intelligence.
The Armed Forces Division and the Department of CSE of the MIST jointly organised the seminar on "Measures and Preparedness for Emerging Cyber Threats''.
Palak further said there are essentially two categories of internet users: those who have fallen victim to cyberattacks and those who have been compromised but remain unaware of the security breach. "I even fell prey to cyber-attack," he shared his experience.
Highlighting the evolving nature of warfare in the digital age, Palak cautioned that future conflicts would be characterised by their bloodlessness, with no need for traditional weaponry such as bullets, missiles, or bombs. "Instead, a click could potentially cripple a country's financial or security systems," he warned.
The state minister underscored the seriousness of the situation, likening it to a 'war,' and urged professionals, including students, to equip themselves for the new world.
Lieutenant General Waker-Uz-Zaman, principal staff officer of the Armed Forces Division, highlighted Bangladesh's transformation under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's leadership, transitioning from a "Digital Bangladesh" to a "Smart Bangladesh" with aspirations of becoming a developed nation.
However, he cautioned that the increasing exposure to cyberattacks poses a hurdle to achieving this vision. Indeed, cyberattacks have recently plagued Bangladesh, potentially impeding progress towards Smart Bangladesh. Government agencies, armed forces installations, and law enforcement agencies are particularly susceptible to the cyberattacks.
He called for vigilant monitoring, dedicated research efforts, and consistent financial investment in cybersecurity to effectively counter the cyber threats.
Major General Mohammed Saidul Islam; commandant of the Military Institute of Science and Technology, Brig Gen Md Mahfuzul Karim Majumder, Head of the CSE Department of the university, Prof Mohammad Mahfuzul Islam, vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Digital University, and Russell T Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) were also present.