The NIS2 Directive

Europe’s most extensive cybersecurity directive to date, the Network and Information Systems Directive (NIS2), is set to take effect in 2024, introducing tighter regulations for risk management, incident reporting, and broadening its reach to encompass more industries.

NIS2 Directive

160K+

Estimated companies affected by NIS2

10M

Or 2% of annual turnover—max fine for non-compliance

15

Number of sectors covered by NIS2 Directive

2024 October

NIS2 will take effect

OVERVIEW

What is the NIS2 directive?

The NIS2 Directive, an updated EU cybersecurity rule introduced to address gaps from its predecessor, the NIS, has a wider scope, encompassing more sectors than before. It aims to unify cybersecurity standards across the EU and introduce stricter penalties for those who don't comply. 

The directive emphasizes a risk-based approach, meaning organizations should protect their systems based on potential threats. Collaboration is key, as NIS2 encourages information sharing among stakeholders. Moreover, it requires comprehensive incident reporting to help understand and counter emerging threats.

People learning what is NIS2 directive

Main goals & objectives of the NIS2

1

Implement effective risk management

2

Ensure corporate accountability for cybersecurity

3

Establish efficient reporting obligations for security incidents

4

Develop robust business continuity plans for cyber incidents

NIS & NIS2: What’s the difference?

NIS framework illustration

The NIS2 directive is an evolution of the foundational NIS framework, reflecting the changing landscape of cybersecurity and the need for robust regulations in a digital age. While it retains the core principles of the original NIS, NIS2 introduces a series of significant enhancements that address emerging threats and challenges. These modifications are not just extensions but are pivotal shifts designed to encompass a wider range of entities and promote a more holistic approach to cyber security.

NIS2 framework illustration
  • A broader spectrum of enterprises, governmental bodies, and organizations fall under the purview of NIS2.
  • Increased emphasis on ensuring that partners and suppliers adhere to cybersecurity protocols.
  • Implementation of sanctions, reminiscent of those found in GDPR.
  • Mandated cybersecurity training for management teams.
  • Obligatory reporting of cybersecurity incidents.
  • Encouragement of encryption practices.

Sectors affected by the NIS2

NIS2 classifies organizations as either "Essential Entities" (EE) or "Important Entities" (IE). Public or private entities in these sectors with over 50 employees and an annual turnover above 10M have to determine their group and follow the related rules.

Elevating the fortification of Europe's critical sectors to ensure societal and economic stability.

Energy

Energy

Covers the crucial energy sectors of electricity, oil, and gas, underscoring their importance in everyday functions and the need for cybersecurity.

Transport

Transport

Focuses on the major modes of transport: air, rail, sea, and road, highlighting their role in connecting people and places.

Healthcare

Healthcare

Prioritizes the protection of healthcare settings, encompassing both public hospitals and private clinics, given their role in public welfare.

Public Administration

Public Administration

Emphasizes the protection of public services, reflecting the directive's commitment to ensure uninterrupted and secure administrative functions.

Banking & Financial Market Infrastructure

Banking & Financial Market Infrastructure

Addresses the backbone of our financial system, spotlighting areas like payment services that facilitate economic activities.

Digital Infrastructures

Digital Infrastructures

Targets foundational digital services, such as those providing DNS and TLD registries, acknowledging their role in the digital ecosystem.

Water Supply

Water Supply

Focuses on the preservation and security of both drinking water and wastewater systems, which are vital for public health.

Space

Space

Illuminates the strategic significance of the space sector, ensuring it meets high cybersecurity standards given its impact on various technologies and services.

CRITERIA

Understanding the building blocks of NIS2

Organizations under NIS2 must proactively implement policies and measures to minimize cybersecurity threats. This includes a core set of measures encompassing risk analysis, incident response, encryption, improved access control, and addressing vulnerabilities in their ICT supply chain. Moreover, entities should undertake vulnerability assessments to ensure that measures align with the entity's exposure to potential risks and the potential societal and economic impacts of such threats.

Incident management system Create a comprehensive incident management system for timely detection, analysis, and response to cybersecurity events. Features should include automated alerts, classification of incidents, and detailed response strategies.

Access control mechanisms Strengthen access control with multi-factor authentication, role-based access control, and enhanced privilege management to safeguard critical systems and data. Identity and access management (IAM) solutions

Supply chain security Enhance supply chain security by regularly auditing and assessing third-party vendors. Ensure these vendors adhere to security standards and establish secure communication protocols.

Data encryption Implement comprehensive end-to-end encryption for sensitive data to ensure its confidentiality and integrity.

Network security upgrades Improve network security with advanced firewall technologies, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and continuous monitoring features to identify and mitigate unauthorized access or suspicious activities. Network security solutions

GUIDELINES

Minimum cybersecurity measures for NIS2 compliance

Risk management policies

Risk management policies

Establish policies on risk analysis and information system security to effectively manage cybersecurity threats.

Incident handling plan

Incident handling plan

Implement a comprehensive plan for handling and responding to security incidents swiftly.

Business continuity

Business continuity

Ensure up-to-date backups, disaster recovery strategies, and crisis management for uninterrupted operations.

Supply chain security

Supply chain security

Prioritize security in relationships with direct suppliers, assessing vulnerabilities and ensuring product cybersecurity.

System security lifecycle

System security lifecycle

Maintain robust security during network and system acquisition, development, maintenance, and vulnerability disclosure.

Effectiveness assessment

Effectiveness assessment

Incorporate policies and procedures to routinely evaluate the efficacy of cybersecurity risk-management measures.

Cyber hygiene training

Cyber hygiene training

Foster basic cyber hygiene practices through continuous employee cybersecurity training and awareness programs.

Cryptographic measures

Cryptographic measures

Utilize policies on cryptography, ensuring appropriate use of encryption where relevant.

Access control & asset oversight

Access control & asset oversight

Define security procedures for employees accessing sensitive data, and maintain a comprehensive asset management strategy.

Advanced authentication

Advanced authentication

Implement multi-factor or continuous authentication solutions, secured communications, and encrypted emergency channels.

Contact NordLayer to learn about NIS2 directive

Ready for NIS2? Be prepared, don't be taken by surprise.

Every business can have a smooth NIS2 journey. Let NordLayer guide the way.

CONSEQUENCES

What if a company is not compliant with NIS2?

Companies failing to comply with the NIS2 Directive could face severe penalties ranging from non-monetary sanctions to substantial administrative fines. Additionally, top management personnel can be held personally accountable for non-compliance, emphasizing the significance of cybersecurity responsibility at an organizational level.

Non-monetary actions & sanctions

Non-monetary actions & sanctions

Under the NIS2, national supervisory authorities can enforce various non-monetary penalties. These could include compliance orders, binding instructions, orders for security audits, and mandates for threat notifications to an entity’s customers.

Administrative fines

Administrative fines

The NIS2 differentiates between essential and important entities concerning administrative fines. Essential entities could incur fines of either €10,000,000 or 2% of their global annual revenue, depending on which is higher. On the other hand, important entities face fines up to €7,000,000 or 1.4% of their global annual turnover, again depending on which amount is greater.

Sanctions for management

Sanctions for management

NIS2 makes top management personally accountable, shifting the responsibility from IT departments alone. In cases of non-compliance, authorities can make violations public, identify responsible personnel, hold management liable for breach of their duties, and, for essential entities, temporarily ban individuals from holding managerial positions after repeated infractions.

STEPS

Where to start your NIS2 compliance journey?

Embarking on the NIS2 compliance journey requires a structured approach. Here are five essential steps to guide your business to successful adherence.

  1. Assess applicability & impact

    Determine if NIS2 affects your organization. Understanding its relevance to your business ensures you focus on what truly matters. Highlight and prioritize your organization's critical services, processes, and assets for a targeted approach.

  2. Elevate cybersecurity awareness

    Secure top management support by raising awareness about NIS2 sanctions and fines. This includes dedicated training programs for leadership on cybersecurity risk management and the significance of a cyber-oriented culture.

  3. Enhance security infrastructure

    Implement a risk and information security management system (ISMS). Review and adapt the 10 mandated cybersecurity risk management measures of NIS2. This includes streamlining incident reporting, enhancing supply chain security, and establishing a robust business continuity plan.

  4. Allocate resources effectively

    Plan and budget accordingly, focusing on areas with the highest cyber risks. This involves allocating sufficient financial resources for cybersecurity endeavors, bearing in mind the stiffer penalties that NIS2 introduces for non-compliance.

  5. Continuously monitor & adapt

    Foster a culture of continuous improvement. Regularly assess and close security gaps, stay updated on expected security controls, and leverage expert guidance as needed. Ensure that your organization remains agile and adaptive in its compliance journey.

NIS2 WITH NORDLAYER

How can NordLayer contribute to your NIS2 compliance strategy?

Comprehensive security suite

Comprehensive security suite

Leverage multi-factor authentication, secured communications, and robust activity monitoring to fortify your entity's security. NordLayer's SASE, Identity and Access Management (2FA), VPN, and Network Access Control play a pivotal role in this.

Robust access control

Robust access control

Benefit from our robust Network Access Control (NAC) features like Cloud Firewall or Device Posture Security to ensure only authorized users access your company’s data. Elevate your network protection with multi-layered authentication methods such as 2FA (SMS & TOTP) and biometrics to access your network. For a seamless yet secure login experience, opt for SSO options compatible with various platforms, including Google Workspace, Azure AD, Okta, OneLogin, and JumpCloud.

Incident handling

Incident handling

Armed with advanced features such as encryption, IP masking, and a dedicated server with fixed IP, NordLayer stands as the indispensable shield for your digital domain. Ingrained with Threat Block, DNS filtering, and Device Posture Security, our approach focuses on minimizing risks, streamlining a defense strategy that reduces the likelihood of navigating to malicious or threatening websites and, consequently, mitigating the chances of network infection.

Network maintenance security

Network maintenance security

Ensure robust and comprehensive network maintenance with features such as Activity Monitoring and Device Posture Monitoring. Watch all network connections, devices entering your network, and admin actions closely, maintaining a high-availability service option to bolster the network's overall security and performance without compromises.

Network development security

Network development security

Safeguard sensitive development information and assets with NordLayer's Cloud Firewall, dedicated server with fixed IP, Virtual Private Gateways, and VPN encryption. Enhance your company's development phase by restricting access to crucial codes and information, ensuring they remain secure and inaccessible to unauthorized personnel.

Vulnerability handling

Vulnerability handling

Fortify your network's vulnerability handling capabilities with NordLayer. Utilize top-tier threat prevention features like encryption, IP masking, DNS filtering, and Always On VPN, among others, to manage and mitigate potential network vulnerabilities effectively. Enhance detection mechanisms with Device Posture Security to maintain a resilient network infrastructure.

Supply chain assurance

Supply chain assurance

Ensure the security of your supply chain. NordLayer helps keep your logistical operations uncompromised.

Unauthorized access shield

Unauthorized access shield

NordLayer offers a variety of features to build a comprehensive ZTNA strategy to bolster your network security. Employ multi-level identity and access management tools like MFA, SSO, and biometrics, and adopt IP allowlisting capabilities for sensitive resources.

NordLayer: turning NIS2 challenges into achievements

In the era of expanding hybrid and remote work, adhering to regulatory standards at such a vast scale can seem daunting. As part of Nord Security, our primary mission is to deliver an expansive array of premium cybersecurity tools, empowering you to achieve, sustain, and surpass compliance standards.

NORDLAYER COMPLIANCE

Partnering with an industry standards leader

NordLayer is dedicated to regulatory compliance and protecting sensitive business data. Our systems boast ISO 27001 certification and pass the stringent SOC 2 Type 2 audit. We align with HIPAA Security Rules and utilize AES-256 encryption to ensure data security. Now, let us help you with your compliance.

GDPR Compliance

GDPR Compliance

HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA Compliance

ISO 27001 Compliance

ISO 27001 Compliance

PCI-DSS Compliance

PCI-DSS Compliance

Soc 2 Type 2 Compliance

Soc 2 Type 2 Compliance

Additional info

Frequently asked questions

The NIS2 Directive has to be transposed into EU national laws by 17 October 2024. It ensures consistency across Member States.

*Disclaimer. This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or any other professional advice. The content herein is intended to offer general insights into regulation requirements and potential solutions. It does not provide a comprehensive overview of the law, nor does it address specific legal scenarios. While we strive to present accurate and up-to-date information, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the information, our products, our services, or related graphics contained in this article for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is, therefore, strictly at your own risk. Our products may assist in compliance with certain cybersecurity regulations; however, their effectiveness can vary based on a multitude of factors, including but not limited to your specific circumstances, changes in law, and technological advancements. We recommend consulting with a qualified legal professional to understand how the regulations apply to your particular situation and how our products can aid in your compliance efforts. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage, including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this article. This article does not establish a client-professional relationship between Nord Security Inc. and the reader.