The European Union has recently introduced a revised Network and Information Systems Directive, or NIS2, which aims to improve the cybersecurity of essential services and digital service providers across the EU. This new regulation replaces the original NIS Directive, adopted in 2016. In a series of articles, we will explore what changes and their impact on vulnerability management.
NIS 2 applies to a wide range of operators of essential services and digital service providers, including energy, transport, banking, healthcare, and digital services such as online marketplaces and search engines. The regulation aims to establish a common level of security for these services across the EU, by requiring organizations to implement appropriate security measures and to report significant security incidents to the relevant authorities.
For a more extensive look at the regulation:
- In this post, we extensively covered the differences between NIS1 and NIS2.
- In this other post we covered the main sections of NIS2
- UK and NIS2 a quick overview
NIS2 and NIS 1 what are the differences
One of the key differences between the NIS1 directive version 1 (NIS1) and version 2 (NIS2) is the expanded scope of NIS2..
NIS2 extends the directive’s reach to include additional industries and digital service providers. This means that more organizations across the EU are subject to the requirements of the directive, including those in the water supply and distribution sector, the food supply sector, and the digital infrastructure sector. Digital service providers that offer online marketplaces, search engines, and cloud computing services are now within the directive’s scope. The expansion of the scope reflects the growing importance of digital infrastructure and the need to improve the resilience of network and information systems across a broader range of sectors.
|Scope||Applies only to operators of essential services in specific sectors (e.g., energy, transport, healthcare, finance)||Extends to additional sectors and digital service providers|
|Thresholds||No thresholds for identifying operators of essential services||New thresholds for identifying operators of essential services and digital service providers|
|Incident reporting||Operators of essential services must report incidents to a competent authority||New requirements for incident reporting|
|Penalties||No specific penalties for non-compliance||Empowers national authorities to impose fines and other administrative measures|
|Cooperation||Emphasizes cooperation and information sharing between national authorities||Emphasizes cooperation and information sharing between national authorities and the EU Agency for Cybersecurity|
How does NIS2 Impact UK regulation?
The NIS2 Directive is set to significantly impact cybersecurity in the United Kingdom as it introduces new requirements for operators of essential services and digital service providers to identify and manage system vulnerabilities. Vulnerability management is a critical component of any effective cybersecurity strategy. It enables organizations to proactively identify potential weaknesses in their systems and take steps to mitigate the risk of cyber attacks.
Under NIS2, operators of essential services and digital service providers must conduct regular vulnerability assessments, implement risk management processes, and establish incident response plans. These assessments must be carried out by qualified professionals who can identify potential vulnerabilities in the systems and recommend effective solutions. Vulnerability management is essential in preventing cyber attacks and minimizing the impact of security incidents on critical infrastructure.
In addition to vulnerability management, the NIS2 Directive also includes specific requirements for operators of essential services in the UK to protect their critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks. National critical infrastructure refers to the systems and assets essential to the functioning of society and the economy. The NIS2 directive includes requirements for operators of essential services in sectors such as energy, healthcare, and others to protect against cyber attacks on their control systems, patient data, and medical devices.
Operators of essential services are also required to share information and with national authorities to enhance cybersecurity resilience. This enables organizations to share best practices, collaborate on incident response, and improve cybersecurity capabilities.
Overall, the NIS2 Directive is designed to improve network and information systems resilience in the UK and across the EU. It places a significant emphasis on vulnerability management and protecting national critical infrastructure and requires operators of essential services and digital service providers to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity. By complying with the directive’s requirements, organizations can enhance their cybersecurity resilience and safeguard the functioning of society and the economy.
What are the UK regulation for Critical National Infrastructure
n addition to the new requirements introduced by the NIS2 Directive, the UK already has existing critical national infrastructure regulations in place. These regulations aim to ensure that essential services are protected from cyber threats and other risks that could disrupt their functioning. In this section, we will explore the existing critical national infrastructure regulation in the UK.
What are the Existing Critical National Infrastructure Regulation in the UK:
- The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) is a UK government organization responsible for protecting national infrastructure from cyber threats and other risks.
- The CPNI works with operators of essential services in sectors such as energy, transport, and communications to identify and mitigate risks to their systems.
- The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is another UK government organization that provides guidance and support to organizations to improve their cybersecurity resilience.
- The NCSC also provides guidance on implementing cybersecurity controls for critical infrastructure under the CAF, such as encryption and multi-factor authentication.
- The UK government has also introduced regulations such as the Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF) and the Cyber Essentials Scheme, which provide guidelines for organizations to assess and improve their cybersecurity posture.
The UK’s existing critical national infrastructure regulation is designed to complement the NIS2 Directive and provide a comprehensive approach to protecting essential services from cyber threats. By working together, the CPNI, NCSC, and other organizations can support operators of essential services in identifying and mitigating risks to their systems and improving their cybersecurity resilience.
How does nis2 apply to you? And how does NIS2 impact vulnerability management?
- Risk assessment: Article 14(1) of the NIS 2 regulation requires operators of essential services and digital service providers to “identify and assess the risks posed to the security of their network and information systems.” This includes conducting a risk assessment considering the “likelihood and impact of a security incident.”
- Incident management: Article 14(2) of the NIS 2 regulation requires operators of essential services and digital service providers to “establish and implement appropriate and proportionate technical and organizational measures to manage the risks posed to the security of network and information systems” and to “detect and promptly respond to incidents.”
- Security measures: Article 14(3) of the NIS 2 regulation requires operators of essential services and digital service providers to “take into account state of the art” and to implement “appropriate and proportionate technical and organizational measures” to ensure the security of their network and information systems.
- Testing and evaluation: Article 14(4) of the NIS 2 regulation requires operators of essential services and digital service providers to “regularly test and evaluate the effectiveness” of their security measures, including “vulnerability assessments, including penetration testing.”
- Reporting: Article 16(1) of the NIS 2 regulation requires operators of essential services and digital service providers to “notify without undue delay the competent authority” of any “incident having a significant impact” on the continuity of the services they provide.Cooperation: Article 14(5) of the NIS 2 regulation requires operators of essential services and digital service providers to “cooperate with the relevant competent authorities and other relevant stakeholders” to “prevent, detect, respond to and recover from incidents.”
How Phoenix Security Can Help:
Phoenix Security is a platform that collects information from various sources, contextualizes, and prioritizes vulnerabilities from code to the cloud.
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How can Phoenix Security Help you address NIS2?
|NIS 2 Requirements||How Phoenix Security Responds|
|Risk assessment: Article 14(1)||Phoenix security enables real-time and systematic assessment of application security, cloud, and infrastructure risks.|
|Incident management: Article 14(2)||Phoenix security enables the reconstruction of incident data by leveraging contextual searches and providing vulnerability information in real time. It allows easy assessment and scheduling of upgrades and searches all systems and teams affected with just one click.|
|Security measures and demonstrating compliance||Phoenix security enables assessment of the real risk of specific applications and controls and specifies which compensating controls apply to specific applications or environments to ensure compliance.|
|Early identification of nation-state alerts and critical action||Phoenix security ingests nation-state and critical alerts, enabling quick action on the most critical assets.|
|Reporting||Phoenix security enables reporting on the risk posture of each product, including the number of issues that have been fixed and the expected time to fix them.|