NIS 2 Directive: Leveraging regulatory compliance and technology to reduce risk

EU Offices Belgium

Cyber threats pose a significant risk to organizations due to today's increasingly interconnected digital landscape. To address these challenges and ensure the security and resilience of critical infrastructure and digital services, the European Union introduced the Directive (UE) 2022/2555, commonly known as NIS 2 - which was actually approved on the same day as DORA, both being critical in how the EU is leveraging regulatory compliance and technology to reduce cyber risk.

NIS 2 is the second iteration of the Network and Information Systems Directive (NIS) and builds upon the foundation laid by its predecessor, initially adopted on July 6, 2016. It aims to enhance the EU's cybersecurity capabilities by strengthening the protection of critical infrastructure and promoting the resilience of digital services.

The main differences between the two versions include an expanded scope, enhanced cooperation mechanisms, and updated incident reporting obligations: NIS 2 broadens its applicability to a broader range of companies and sectors, recognising that cyber threats can affect various industries. Additionally, it strengthens collaboration between Member States and emphasizes cross-border cooperation to tackle cyber incidents more effectively.

Bringing new challenges to Cyber Risk Management

Several key goals drive NIS 2. Its primary objective is to establish a harmonized framework for ensuring the security and resilience of network and information systems across the EU. By setting common standards and requirements, NIS 2 aims to mitigate the risks associated with cyber threats and enhance the overall cybersecurity posture of organizations.

The compliance framework of NIS 2 covers a wide range of companies and verticals. It includes operators of essential services (OES) and digital service providers (DSPs) across critical sectors such as energy, transportation, healthcare, finance, water supply, and digital infrastructure. This comprehensive coverage ensures that organizations in vital industries adhere to the prescribed security measures and maintain operational resilience.

Implementing NIS 2 poses several challenges for organizations regarding cyber risk management. For example, companies must enhance their cybersecurity capabilities to meet the rigorous security standards and incident reporting obligations outlined in the directive. This requires a comprehensive understanding of cyber risks and adopting robust security measures, such as risk assessments, incident response plans, and continuous monitoring.

It is also important to emphasize that compliance with NIS 2 is subject to specific timeframes set by individual Member States, which are required to implement it as national law in October 2024. Organizations must allocate sufficient resources and prioritize cybersecurity initiatives to meet compliance deadlines. Failure to comply with the directive can result in reputational damage, as well as sanctions imposed by national authorities. These sanctions may include financial penalties and potential limitations on business operations.

Achieving compliance and operational resilience with Bitsight

In this dynamic and complex regulatory environment, technology is vital in helping organizations achieve compliance with NIS 2 while ensuring operational resilience. Bitsight enables companies to monitor and evaluate their cybersecurity posture and their third-party vendors. By providing continuous risk assessment and monitoring capabilities, Bitsight assists organizations in identifying vulnerabilities, prioritizing remediation efforts, and maintaining compliance with NIS 2 requirements.

Through automated data collection and analysis, Bitsight offers real-time insights into an organization's cybersecurity performance, allowing proactive risk management and compliance. This facilitates the identification of potential security gaps, supports incident response planning, and helps organizations establish a robust cybersecurity framework aligned with NIS 2 guidelines as part of their wider compliance program.

Here are a few reasons why Bitsight can help your organization meet the compliance journey towards NIS 2:

  • Comprehensive Cybersecurity Ratings. Bitsight provides comprehensive cybersecurity ratings that assess an organization's security posture based on multiple factors, including external threat intelligence, vulnerability assessment, and data breach history. The Bitsight ratings offer a holistic view of an organization's cybersecurity performance, allowing companies to identify and prioritize areas for improvement effectively.
  • Continuous Monitoring and Risk Assessment. Bitsight offers continuous monitoring of cybersecurity risk, providing organizations with real-time insights into their security posture. This helps in identifying emerging risks and vulnerabilities promptly. Bitsight also provides proactive risk assessment, enabling organizations to evaluate their security controls and those of their third-party vendors, ensuring compliance with NIS 2 requirements.
  • Third-Party Risk Management. Bitsight goes beyond evaluating an organization's internal security measures by providing a comprehensive third-party risk management solution. This feature allows companies to assess the cybersecurity posture of their vendors and business partners, helping create a successful Third Party Risk Management Program - and ensuring that their entire supply chain adheres to the necessary security standards set forth by NIS 2.
  • Incident Response Planning. Bitsight supports incident response planning by providing actionable insights and recommendations based on potential vulnerabilities and threats. The platform helps organizations develop effective incident response strategies, enabling them to mitigate the impact of cyber incidents and recover quickly.
  • Benchmarking and Industry Comparisons. Bitsight enables organizations to benchmark their cybersecurity performance against industry peers and competitors. This feature helps organizations gain a broader perspective on their security posture and identify areas where they can improve and align with best practices and regulatory requirements.
  • User-Friendly Interface and Customizable Reporting. Bitsight offers a user-friendly interface that allows organizations to navigate through cybersecurity ratings, risk assessments, and other data effortlessly. Bitsight also provides customisable reporting capabilities, enabling organizations to generate compliance reports tailored to their specific needs and requirements.

Heading towards a digital Europe strengthened by regulations

As cyber threats continue to evolve, regulatory compliance and technology must work hand in hand to reduce risks and ensure the security and resilience of critical infrastructure and digital services. NIS 2, with its expanded scope and enhanced cooperation mechanisms, sets a comprehensive framework for organizations to address cyber risks effectively.

By leveraging Bitsight, companies can achieve operational resilience, maintain compliance with NIS 2, and stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape, safeguarding their digital assets and reputation.

Check this solution brief to learn more about how Bitsight can help your organization meet the compliance requirements for NIS 2.