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What is the NIS2 Directive?

what is nis2

what is nis2

La NIS2 Directive is a European Union regulation that aims to strengthen the security of networks and information systems, expanding and improving on the previous NIS Directive of 2016. Entering into force on 17 January 2023, NIS2 must be transposed by member states by 17 October 2024.

Objectives of the NIS2 Directive

Strengthening Information Security

One of the main objectives of the NIS2 Directive is the strengthening of IT security throughout the European Union. This directive aims to establish a standardised level of cybersecurity resilience for critical infrastructures, digital services and EU citizens. The aim is to improve the collective ability to prevention, detection and response agli cyber attacks, che sono sempre più frequenti e sofisticati. Attraverso l’introduzione di requisiti di sicurezza più rigorosi e dettagliati, la NIS2 impone alle organizzazioni di implementare misure tecniche e organizzative adeguate per proteggere le loro reti e i loro sistemi informativi.

In addition, the NIS2 directive requires organisations to carry out regular risk assessments and take measures to proactive information securitysuch as the encryption of data, the use of firewalls and the implementation of multi-factor authentication systems. These measures are designed to prevent cyber attacks, reduce vulnerabilities and ensure the business continuity of essential services even in the event of serious incidents. Compliance with these requirements not only protects digital infrastructures, but also strengthens citizens' and consumers' trust in digital services, promoting a safer and more trustworthy online environment.

Harmonising Security Measures

Another crucial objective of the NIS2 Directive is the harmonisation of security measures across the EU. The previous NIS Directive had revealed several gaps and fragmented implementation, with considerable differences in the security practices adopted by the various Member States. The NIS2 aims to close these gaps by introducing more detailed and harmonised safety requirementswhich are to be applied uniformly in all Member States. This coordinated approach ensures that all organisations operating within the EU adopt high and uniform security standards, reducing the risk of cyber incidents and improving cooperation between countries.

The harmonisation of security measures not only reduces inconsistencies and disparities, but also facilitates the information sharing and security practices between organisations. Companies operating in multiple countries can benefit from uniform security requirements, reducing the complexity of regulatory compliance and improving their ability to respond effectively to cyber incidents. In addition, NIS2 provides sanctions severe for non-compliance, incentivising organisations to implement and maintain robust and up-to-date security measures.

Extending the Scope and Improving Cooperation

The NIS2 Directive significantly extends the scope of the previous NIS Directive. In addition to including already regulated sectors, such as energy, transport and financial services, NIS2 now covers a larger number of sectors considered critical for the socio-economic functioning of the EU. These include cloud computing platforms, i data centre and the health services are included, reflecting the growing importance of these sectors in modern society. This extension aims to ensure that all essential infrastructures and services are adequately protected against cyber threats, regardless of their sector.

In addition to the extension of scope, NIS2 promotes greater cooperation between Member States. It encourages information sharing and collaboration between national cybersecurity authorities, facilitating a coordinated and timely response to cyber incidents. This cooperative approach not only improves the ability to prevent and mitigate threats, but also strengthens the overall resilience of the EU against cyber attacks. Through cooperation mechanisms such as European cyber crisis networks, NIS2 aims to create a safer and more resilient digital environment for all EU citizens and businesses.

Main requirements of the NIS2 Directive

Risk Assessment and Management

One of the fundamental requirements of the NIS2 Directive is the risk assessment and management. Organisations must conduct regular risk assessments of their networks and information systems. These assessments are crucial to identify vulnerabilities and potential threats that could compromise the security of information and critical infrastructure. Implement adequate security measures means adopting policies and procedures that minimise identified risks. This may include the use of firewalls, intrusion detection systems, data encryption and multi-factor authentication protocols.

Risk assessment is not a one-off activity, but an ongoing process that must be integrated into business management. Organisations must be able to adapt to changes in the threat landscape by regularly updating their security measures. Furthermore, it is essential to train staff on IT security practices and make them aware of potential risks. The safety culture must be promoted at all levels of the organisation, from management to operational employees, to ensure a proactive and consistent approach to risk management.

Incident Management and Business Continuity

La incident management is another key requirement of the NIS2 Directive. Organisations must have robust procedures in place for managing and reporting security incidents. This includes the ability to quickly detect, analyse and respond to incidents. In the event of a significant incident, organisations are obliged to notify the competent authorities within 24 hours from discovery. This requirement is crucial to ensure a timely and coordinated response to incidents, minimising the impact on business continuity and information security.

In addition to incident management, the business continuity è essenziale per garantire che i servizi essenziali possano continuare a funzionare anche in caso di disastro. Le organizzazioni devono sviluppare e mantenere piani di continuità operativa e di ripristino in caso di disastro. Questi piani devono prevedere procedure per il backup e il recupero dei dati, la gestione delle crisi e la comunicazione durante gli incidenti. Ensuring the continuity of essential services is crucial to minimise disruptions and maintain the trust of customers and end users.

Supply Chain Security and Governance

La supply chain security is another critical aspect covered by the NIS2 directive. Organisations must manage cybersecurity risks throughout the supply chain, ensuring that suppliers and partners adhere to the same security standards. This requires close collaboration and sharing of information on vulnerabilities and threats. Supply chain security includes assessing the risks associated with products and services provided by third parties and implementing appropriate mitigation measures.

Finally, the governance and accountability are key elements in ensuring the effectiveness of security measures. Corporate leadership must be actively involved in overseeing security measures and promoting a security culture within the organisation. This includes approving security policies, overseeing risk assessments and ensuring that security measures are effectively implemented and maintained. The responsibility for information security must be clearly defined and assigned at management level, ensuring that all stakeholders understand their role and responsibilities in protecting information and critical infrastructure.

Sectors Involved in the NIS2 Directive

Essential Sectors for Socioeconomic Functioning

La NIS2 Directive applies to a wide range of sectors, considered essential for the socio-economic functioning of the European Union. These sectors are crucial to ensure the security and continuity of critical services, and include several industries that play a key role in modern society.

Energy: The energy sector comprises the production, transmission and distribution of electricity, gas and oil. The protection of energy infrastructure is crucial to prevent blackouts and disruptions that could have devastating consequences on society and the economy.

TransportThis sector includes all modes of transport, such as rail, road, air and sea. Ensuring the security of transport networks is essential for the mobility of people and goods, as well as for the functioning of global supply chains.

Healthcare: Hospitals and healthcare facilities are increasingly dependent on digital technologies for day-to-day operations. The protection of health data and business continuity of medical services are vital for patient safety and the provision of effective care.

Drinking water and wastewater management: The safety of drinking water supply and wastewater management infrastructures is crucial for public health and the environment. Protecting these systems prevents contamination and ensures continuous access to clean water.

Digital Infrastructure and Financial Services

Digital infrastructures: Digital infrastructures, such as data centres, cloud computing platforms and telecommunications networks, are the backbone of modern society. Their security is essential to maintain business continuity of critical services and to protect sensitive data from cyber attacks.

Financial Services: Banks, stock exchanges and other financial institutions are frequent targets of cyber attacks because of the value of the financial information they handle. The protection of these services is crucial to prevent fraud, identity theft and economic destabilisation.

Waste Management: The safe management of waste, including hazardous waste, is essential to prevent environmental and health damage. Waste management infrastructures must be protected against attacks that could disrupt service or cause contamination.

Production, Distribution and Other Critical Sectors

Food production and distribution: The security of food supply chains is crucial to ensure that consumers have continuous access to safe and nutritious food. Attacks on this infrastructure could lead to food shortages and food security problems.

Postal and courier servicesThese services ensure the secure and timely delivery of parcels and documents, which are essential for trade and communication. The protection of these networks is essential to avoid disruptions that could have economic and social repercussions.

In addition to these, the NIS2 directive also includes areas such as the manufacture of medical devices, l'electronics, i machinery, the motor vehicles and others means of transport. These industries are considered critical because their security and business continuity directly affect the stability and resilience of European society and economy. Protecting these industries is therefore a priority to ensure a safe and secure environment for all EU citizens.

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