As cyber-attacks in the European Union and the United Kingdom have grown in volume, nature, and impact, officials are launching steps to combat them on several fronts.
In December, the European Council passed the Network and Information Security 2 (NIS2) Directive, a critical step in modernizing the present EU-wide cyber security framework. The new regulation intends to force more sorts of organizations to implement more significant cyber security safeguards when finalized in 2022, among other changes. Cloud service providers, for example, would be designated critical service providers with higher standards in areas like encryption and governance.
IN DECEMBER, the UK government also released the National Cyber Strategy 2022, describing it as “a holistic, whole-of-society initiative to increase UK resilience.” “An industrial strategy, a skills plan, a national security policy, and a declaration of increasingly active and interventionist intent by Her Majesty’s Government,” according to a story in The Stack, a UK business technology newspaper.
In Europe, these and other cyber security policy measures are progressing in the face of rising cyber danger to industry and society. According to the EU Agency for Cyber security, “cyber security risks are on the rise… and the cyber security environment has evolved in terms of sophistication of attacks, their complexity, and their effect” (ENISA).
According to the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) 2021 annual evaluation, “although the attacks came from a variety of actors employing a variety of methodologies, they all had one thing in common: they resulted in real-world harm.” “Life savings have been taken, essential and sensitive data has been compromised, healthcare and public services have been interrupted, and food and energy supplies have been impacted.”
European Union Cyber security Rule
National digital strategies and rules in the EU’s 27 member states, as well as more targeted EU legislation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for data privacy, the pending European Cyber Resilience Act for the Internet of Things (IoT), and the pending Digital Operational Resilience in the EU Financial Sector, complement NIS2.
The GDPR and NIS2 are the two most important and far-reaching pieces of cyber security legislation in Europe.
The various measurements may overlap. While the headlines in 2021 cantered on GDPR fines for corporations abusing people’s data, companies that failed to safeguard cyber security also received fines.
NIS2 establishes standards for national cyber security capabilities among EU member states and guidelines for cross-border cooperation, and regulations for vital service providers.
- Baseline cyber risk management procedures are included in the draught NIS2 regulations for company regulation.
- Obligations to report.
- Enforcement remedies and sanctions
- A current list of the industries and activities covered.
- Coverage of medium and big businesses has been expanded.
Energy, transportation, financial services, healthcare, water, digital infrastructure, managed service providers (including managed security service providers), public administration, space launch services, postal and courier services, waste management, certain types of manufacturers, the food industry, and digital providers such as online marketplaces, search engines, and social networking platforms are among the sectors covered by the current draught.
In early 2022, the European Council, European Parliament, and European Commission will negotiate a final version of NIS2, with some experts forecasting agreement by the middle of the year. Following that, member nations would have two years to integrate the measures into their legislation.
UK Cyber Security Legislation
- Increase cyber security skills and innovation, according to the UK’s National Cyber Strategy, which is due by 2025.
- Objectives Establish the country’s leadership as a worldwide “cyber power.”
- Keep enemies at bay.
- Assist organizations in maximizing the financial benefits of digital technology while reducing risk.
- Keep citizens safe.
While the UK’s policy does not go into great detail on cyber security regulations, it does provide guidance: “The government has an essential role to advise and enlighten individuals, companies, and organizations about what they need to do to secure themselves online.” The statement states that “when required, this involves defining the criteria we expect significant firms and organizations to follow in order to safeguard all of us.”
Digital services and linked devices are two priority areas for regulation in the UK. As they are in the rest of Europe. “We will reinforce and expand current regulation of digital service providers,” the strategy says, noting that a new law was recently submitted in Parliament to establish security requirements for connected devices.
Best Practices in Cyber security
According to Koen Van Impe, a Belgian security expert. Companies covered by NIS2 should not wait until it is finished to develop their compliance plans.
In the United Kingdom, similar advice is given. According to the EY management consulting firm’s recommendations for UK CISOs. Centralizing cyber security governance will be critical in dealing with numerous new and evolving cyber security requirements. “With proper tracking and oversight, firms may be able to get to a point where responding to diverse compliance requests is managed by a single individual.
ENISA has defined best practices under European cyber security legislation. Including particular procedures to combat ransomware, email-related risks, and other dangers. ENISA’s recommendations regarding ransomware, which is identified as the top danger for 2021-2022, including
- Secure and redundant backups.
- Identity and access management audits
- Raising awareness.
- Development and production environments are separated.
- Sharing incident information with authorities and the industry.
- Assessments of readiness
- Plans for response and recovery.
- Using security technologies that have been proven to prevent ransomware.
- Constant monitoring
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While the UK’s policy does not go into great detail on cyber security regulations, it does provide guidance:
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The EU and the United Kingdom are developing initiatives to improve cyber security across Europe. To comply with a rapidly changing regulatory framework, businesses will need to implement new measures into their long-term planning.
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