NIS 2 Directives

1- WHAT IS NIS 2 Directive?

The NIS 2 Directive represents a significant step forward in the European Union's efforts to enhance cybersecurity resilience and protect critical infrastructure and services from cyber and non-cyber threats. By establishing a comprehensive framework for risk management, incident response, and cross-border collaboration, the directive aims to safeguard the EU's internal market and societal interests in an increasingly digital and interconnected world. Its broad scope, stringent requirements, and emphasis on collaboration and enforcement reflect a holistic and proactive approach to addressing the multifaceted challenges of cybersecurity in the 21st century.

The NIS 2 Directive, formally known as Directive (EU) 2022/2555, is an evolution and expansion of the European Union's efforts to bolster cybersecurity across all member states. This directive seeks to replace and broaden the scope of the previous NIS Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/1148), aiming to address the increasingly complex and evolving cyber threats that pose significant risks to the internal market and societal well-being of the EU.

Objectives of NIS 2

The primary goal of the NIS 2 Directive is to establish a uniform level of cybersecurity across the European Union, ensuring that both essential and important entities take adequate measures to protect the network and information systems critical to their operations. This encompasses a broad range of sectors and activities that are vital for the EU's internal market and public welfare, extending the scope beyond what was covered under the original NIS Directive.

Scope and Applicability

The NIS 2 Directive significantly expands the range of sectors and entities covered, including essential sectors like energy, transportation, banking, and health, as well as other important sectors such as digital infrastructure, public administration, and space. It mandates these sectors to implement stringent cybersecurity measures, reflecting the directive's all-hazards approach which accounts for a wide array of potential risks and threats, including those arising from non-cyber incidents.

Key Requirements

Entities covered under the NIS 2 Directive are required to fulfill several critical obligations, including:

  • Risk Management Measures: Adopting appropriate technical, operational, and organizational measures to manage the risks posed to their network and information systems.

  • Incident Response: Implementing strategies to prevent and minimize the impact of cybersecurity incidents on the services they provide, as well as on other interconnected services.

  • Reporting Obligations: Entities must promptly notify relevant national authorities of significant cyber incidents, facilitating a coordinated response and mitigation strategy across the EU.

  • Supply Chain Security: The directive also emphasizes the importance of securing the supply chain, recognizing that vulnerabilities in any part of the supply chain can have wide-reaching implications for cybersecurity resilience.

Governance and Enforcement

The NIS 2 Directive introduces a governance structure that includes national competent authorities, single points of contact, and Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) to oversee its implementation. Member states are tasked with ensuring compliance through a framework of supervisory measures, enforcement actions, and potential penalties for non-compliance, underscoring the directive's commitment to maintaining high cybersecurity standards across the Union.

Amendments and Integration

In addition to setting new cybersecurity standards, the NIS 2 Directive amends existing legislation, such as Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 (eIDAS Regulation) and Directive (EU) 2018/1972, to ensure coherence and synergy across the EU's cybersecurity and digital policy framework. This alignment is crucial for creating a robust and unified cybersecurity ecosystem that can effectively respond to and mitigate the risks of cyber threats.


The NIS 2 Directive sets forth a comprehensive and structured timeline for the adoption, implementation, and ongoing review of measures to enhance cybersecurity across the European Union. Below is a comprehensive overview of the key deadlines and milestones outlined in the directive, which collectively aim to establish a robust framework for achieving a high common level of cybersecurity and ensuring the resilience of network and information systems within the EU:

Adoption and Implementation Deadlines

  • 17 October 2024: Member States are required to adopt and publish the measures necessary to comply with the NIS 2 Directive. This deadline underscores the urgency for Member States to update their national legislation and regulatory frameworks to align with the enhanced requirements of the NIS 2 Directive.

  • 18 October 2024: The measures adopted by Member States must be applied from this date forward. Concurrently, Directive (EU) 2016/1148, known as the NIS Directive, will be repealed, marking the transition to the more comprehensive and expansive cybersecurity framework established by the NIS 2 Directive.

Reporting and Assessment

  • 17 July 2024 and every 18 months thereafter: The EU-Cybersecurity Crisis Liaison Organisation Network (EU-CyCLONe) is tasked with submitting a report to the European Parliament and the Council, assessing its work. This periodic assessment aims to evaluate the effectiveness of EU-CyCLONe's operations and its contribution to enhancing the EU's cybersecurity posture.

Technical and Methodological Requirements

  • 17 October 2024: By this date, the European Commission is expected to adopt implementing acts that outline the technical and methodological requirements for measures concerning a range of digital service providers, including DNS service providers, cloud computing services, and social networking platforms, among others. These implementing acts are crucial for ensuring that these entities adhere to standardized cybersecurity practices.

Peer Reviews and Cooperation

  • 17 January 2025: The Cooperation Group, with support from the Commission and the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), will establish the methodology and organizational aspects of peer reviews. These peer reviews are voluntary and aim to foster learning from shared experiences, strengthen mutual trust, and enhance Member States' cybersecurity capabilities and policies. They represent a collaborative approach to achieving the directive's objectives.

Identification and Notification of Entities

  • 17 April 2025: Member States are required to establish a list of essential and important entities, as well as entities providing domain name registration services. This list is fundamental to identifying the entities that fall under the directive's scope and ensuring they comply with its requirements. The list must be reviewed and updated at least every two years.

  • 17 April 2025 and every two years thereafter: Competent authorities must notify the Commission and the Cooperation Group of the number of essential and important entities for each sector, facilitating transparency and oversight.

Review of the Directive

  • 17 October 2027 and every 36 months thereafter: The European Commission is tasked with reviewing the functioning of the NIS 2 Directive and reporting its findings to the European Parliament and the Council. These reviews are essential for assessing the directive's effectiveness, identifying areas for improvement, and adapting to evolving cybersecurity threats and challenges.

These deadlines and milestones are integral to the successful implementation and continuous improvement of the NIS 2 Directive, ensuring that the European Union maintains a proactive and responsive approach to cybersecurity governance and resilience.


The NIS 2 Directive introduces comprehensive obligations for essential and important entities to enhance the cybersecurity posture across the European Union. Articles 20 and 21 of the directive lay out specific requirements concerning governance and cybersecurity risk management measures, reflecting a strategic shift towards more accountable and proactive cybersecurity practices within critical sectors. Here’s a detailed overview of these obligations:

Article 20: Governance

Management Bodies' Responsibilities

  • Approval and Oversight: Article 20 emphasizes that the management bodies of essential and important entities are directly responsible for approving the cybersecurity risk management measures adopted by their entities. Furthermore, they are tasked with overseeing the implementation of these measures, ensuring that policies and procedures are not only adopted but also effectively executed.

  • Liability for Infringements: A significant provision under Article 20 is the stipulation that members of the management bodies can be held liable for infringements related to cybersecurity obligations. This introduces a layer of personal accountability, underscoring the importance of diligent oversight and governance in cybersecurity matters.

Training Requirements

  • Mandatory Training for Management: The directive mandates that members of the management bodies of essential and important entities undergo training designed to equip them with sufficient knowledge and skills to identify risks and assess the effectiveness of cybersecurity risk management practices. This requirement aims to ensure that those at the highest level of governance are informed and capable of making decisions that impact the entity's cybersecurity posture.

  • Employee Training: Beyond management, Article 20 encourages entities to provide regular cybersecurity training to their employees. This is aimed at fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness across the organization, enabling employees at all levels to recognize cybersecurity threats and understand the measures in place to mitigate these risks.

Article 21: Cybersecurity Risk Management Measures

Implementation of Measures

  • Comprehensive Measures: Essential and important entities are required to adopt appropriate and proportionate technical, operational, and organizational measures to manage the risks to their network and information systems. These measures should aim to prevent or minimize the impact of incidents on service recipients and other interconnected services.

  • State-of-the-Art Considerations: When implementing cybersecurity measures, entities must consider the "state-of-the-art" technologies and practices, as well as relevant European and international standards. This ensures that the adopted measures are not only effective but also aligned with the latest advancements and best practices in cybersecurity.

Proportionality and Impact Assessment

  • Cost of Implementation: The directive acknowledges the need for a balanced approach by considering the cost of implementing the cybersecurity measures against their benefits. This is crucial for ensuring that entities can adopt effective cybersecurity practices without disproportionate financial burdens.

  • Risk Exposure, Size, and Likelihood of Incidents: The proportionality of cybersecurity measures must also take into account the entity's exposure to risks, its size, and the likelihood and severity of potential incidents, including their societal and economic impacts. This tailored approach ensures that the level of security measures is appropriate to the specific risk profile and operational context of each entity.

Articles 20 and 21 of the NIS 2 Directive collectively establish a robust framework for enhancing the governance and risk management practices of essential and important entities within the EU. By mandating direct involvement and accountability of management bodies, requiring comprehensive training, and outlining specific criteria for the implementation of cybersecurity measures, the directive aims to significantly raise the standard of cybersecurity across critical sectors, contributing to a safer and more resilient digital environment in the European Union.


The NIS 2 Directive mandates a comprehensive suite of measures for essential and important entities, rooted in an "all-hazards approach" to cybersecurity. This approach is designed to safeguard network and information systems—and the physical environments hosting these systems—against a wide array of potential incidents. By specifying a minimum set of requirements, the directive ensures that entities adopt a holistic strategy to cybersecurity, addressing both digital and physical threats. Here’s a detailed overview of the prescribed measures:

(a) Policies on Risk Analysis and Information System Security

Entities are required to establish and maintain policies dedicated to the analysis of cybersecurity risks and the security of information systems. This involves identifying potential threats, assessing vulnerabilities, and evaluating the impact of potential incidents on the entity's operations. These policies form the foundation of an entity's cybersecurity strategy, guiding the development and implementation of other protective measures.

(b) Incident Handling

This measure focuses on the development of processes and procedures for effectively managing cybersecurity incidents. It includes the detection, reporting, response, and recovery from incidents to minimize their impact. Effective incident handling ensures that entities can quickly respond to threats, mitigate damages, and restore normal operations as swiftly as possible.

(c) Business Continuity, Backup Management, and Disaster Recovery

Entities must implement business continuity plans that include backup management and disaster recovery strategies. These plans are essential for ensuring that critical functions can continue during and after a cybersecurity incident, safeguarding against data loss and minimizing downtime.

(d) Supply Chain Security

Recognizing the interconnected nature of modern business operations, the directive requires entities to address security within their supply chains. This includes evaluating the security practices of direct suppliers and service providers to ensure that vulnerabilities in the supply chain do not compromise the entity's cybersecurity posture.

(e) Security in Network and Information Systems Acquisition, Development, and Maintenance

This measure emphasizes the importance of integrating security considerations throughout the lifecycle of network and information systems. It includes ensuring that new acquisitions, development projects, and ongoing maintenance activities incorporate cybersecurity best practices, as well as managing and disclosing vulnerabilities in a timely and responsible manner.

(f) Assessing the Effectiveness of Cybersecurity Measures

Entities must establish policies and procedures for regularly evaluating the effectiveness of their cybersecurity risk management measures. This could involve conducting audits, penetration testing, and other assessments to ensure that defenses remain robust and are capable of mitigating current and emerging threats.

(g) Basic Cyber Hygiene and Cybersecurity Training

The directive underlines the necessity of basic cyber hygiene practices and regular cybersecurity training for all personnel. These practices are vital for fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness within the organization, helping to prevent incidents caused by human error.

(h) Use of Cryptography and Encryption

Where appropriate, entities are encouraged to implement policies and procedures related to the use of cryptography and encryption. These technologies play a crucial role in protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, particularly for sensitive information.

(i) Human Resources Security, Access Control, and Asset Management

This measure involves the development of human resources security policies, access control procedures, and asset management strategies. Ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to critical systems and information is fundamental to preventing unauthorized access and data breaches.

(j) Multi-Factor and Continuous Authentication Solutions

Finally, the directive advocates for the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) or continuous authentication solutions, along with secured communication systems, to enhance security. These technologies provide an additional layer of protection against unauthorized access, ensuring that only legitimate users can access the entity's systems and data.

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