The NIS2 Compliance Deadline Is Nearing. Are You Prepared?

The hard deadline for NIS2 compliance in the EU is approaching rapidly on October 18, 2024. As organizations operating in the EU switch gears assessing their compliance readiness, here’s a quick overview of the new NIS2 directive, its implications on businesses operating in the EU, the cybersecurity requirements for compliance, and how AppViewX can help with compliance by ensuring trusted identities, secure authentication and strong encryption.

What is the NIS2 Directive?

The NIS2 Directive is a cybersecurity regulation in the European Union (EU) designed to strengthen network and information security. The objective of the NIS2 directive is to achieve a “high common level of cybersecurity” and increased cyber-resilience across key business sectors, especially critical infrastructures, in the EU.

NIS2 is the revised version of the previous Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive, which the EU adopted in July 2016. It builds on the foundation of its predecessor, broadening its scope to include more industry sectors based on their importance and more stringent supervisory measures for compliance.

While NIS2 was adopted in January 2023, the EU Member States must transpose the new directive into national law by 18 October 2024, meaning, organizations that do business in the EU have until 18 October to comply with the directive.

Who Does the NIS2 Directive Apply to?

NIS2 applies to all companies operating in the EU, including all public and private entities, which “fulfill important functions for the economy and society as a whole.” The directive covers 11 business sectors overall and divides them into two main categories: ‘Essential Entities (EEs)’ and ‘Important Entities (IEs)’.

Essential Entities, such as energy, transport, healthcare, banking, drinking water, and digital infrastructure, are subject to stringent regulatory requirements and greater government oversight than Important Entities. This is because of the critical nature of their operations. Any disruption of services in these sectors can have severe consequences on the society and the economy of the region, hence their categorization as Essential.

Important Entities, on the other hand, include, postal and courier services, manufacturing, waste management, chemical production and processing, food production, and digital providers (search engines, online marketplaces, and social networking platforms, etc.). Any operational disruption in these sectors has less severe consequences than in the essential sectors, hence being categorized as Important.

What Are the Key Requirements for NIS2 Compliance?

To enhance the overall cybersecurity posture, manage security risks, and minimize the impact of cyber incidents, NIS2 requires all Essential and Important entities to “take appropriate and proportionate technical, operational and organizational measures.” The measures, at a minimum, must include the following security elements:

  • Policies on risk analysis and information system security
  • Incident handling
  • Business continuity, such as backup management and disaster recovery, and crisis management
  • Supply chain security, including security-related aspects concerning the relationships between each entity and its direct suppliers or service providers
  • Security in network and information systems acquisition, development and maintenance, including vulnerability handling and disclosure
  • Policies and procedures to assess the effectiveness of cybersecurity risk management measures
  • Basic cyber hygiene practices and cybersecurity training
  • Policies and procedures regarding the use of cryptography and, where appropriate, encryption
  • Human resources security, access control policies and asset management
  • The use of multi-factor authentication or continuous authentication solutions, secured voice, video and text communications and secured emergency communication systems within the entity, where appropriate.

What is the Penalty for Non-Compliance?

NIS2 requires EU member states to impose strict penalties for non-compliance. These include:

  • Fines up to 10 million EUR or 2% of the total global annual turnover for essential entities
  • Fines up to 7 million EUR or 1.4% of the total global annual turnover for important entities
  • Management liability for infringements

NIS2 Requirements for the Use of Cryptography and Encryption

Cryptography and encryption are critical components of NIS2 cybersecurity requirements. The directive explicitly calls for the implementation of policies and procedures for the use of cryptography and encryption—highlighting the significance of PKI and certificate lifecycle management.

IT infrastructures today are large and overrun with digital certificates. As these certificates are fundamental to establishing trust, enabling strong authentication and encrypting data and communications, managing them effectively is vital for data protection and compliance.

However, many organizations still manage their digital certificates with manual processes, such as in Excel files and Outlook calendars. Using these processes to govern certificate issuance and manage the life cycles of a large number of certificates at scale has become a perpetual challenge for PKI and security teams. As manual processes are time-intensive and highly susceptible to human error, problems with certificate issuance and deployment have become commonplace, leading to vulnerabilities and serious compliance violations.

A powerful automation solution backed with a strong policy and governance framework overseeing the issuance, usage, and retirement of digital certificates can help streamline certificate management, mitigate security risks, and ensure compliance with regulations, such as NIS2.

Achieve visibility and control of your certificate ecosystem with AppViewX CERT+

How AppViewX’s Certificate Lifecycle Automation Solution Helps You Comply with NIS2

AppViewX CERT+ is a ready-to-consume, scalable certificate lifecycle management (CLM) solution that automates all certificate processes end-to-end. You can discover, inventory, monitor, and automate the complete lifecycle for every certificate, all through a central console. It brings together visibility, automation, and control across on-premises, multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, IoT, and containerized environments to simplify certificate lifecycle management, build crypto resilience, and ensure continuous compliance.

  • Smart Discovery

Being aware of the entire certificate inventory is key to preventing unknown and rogue certificates. AppViewX CERT+ helps discover certificates installed on various devices and applications across hybrid or multi-cloud environments. AppViewX CERT+ offers various scanning methods, such as network, CA, managed device, cloud and kubernetes scans for ease of discovery. It can also integrate with your existing scanners and run a top-down scan of your entire network to discover certificates. You can run these scans at regular intervals for an up-to-date inventory free of unknown and rogue certificates. All information such as certificate location, associated application, expiry dates, etc., is automatically captured and presented in a central dashboard view to provide a single source of truth.

  • Complete Visibility

Complete visibility of all certificates in the infrastructure is essential to stay on top of expiring and non-compliant certificates. AppViewX CERT+ consolidates all the discovered certificates (both public and private trust) in a central inventory with insights into crucial information, such as expiry timelines, crypto standards, certificate location, issuing certificate authority, and other metadata. The single-pane-of-glass visibility helps proactively monitor certificates for issues and weed out orphaned and rogue certificates. This helps ensure certificates are valid and compliant at all times.

  • Robust Policy and Governance Engine

Defining and enforcing policies for certificate issuance and management across all business units is key for compliance. AppViewX CERT+ allows you to create policies for approved CAs, crypto standards, certificate lifetimes, and trust levels. Enforcing these policies helps eliminate the issuance of non-compliant or weak certificates. ensures there are no certificates issued out of band. It also allows you to implement role-based access control (RBAC) to regulate permissions and provide the right level of access to certificates and keys to the right roles. Providing conditional access helps prevent mismanagement or unauthorized actions related to certificates and CAs. Having this comprehensive policy and governance framework helps align your organization’s security posture with industry standards and regulatory requirements.

  • Zero-Touch Policy Enforcement

While implementing organizational policies is important, you will still need a reliable way to enforce them consistently. Automation is an effective way of simplifying certificate lifecycle management (CLM) and enforcing policies. One of the biggest advantages of AppViewX CERT+ is the end-to-end CLM automation it offers. Powerful custom automated workflows enable zero-touch policy enforcement to standardize certificate processes across the organization. This, in turn, helps eliminate discrepancies in crypto standards, validity periods, and trust levels and ensures all certificates comply with industry best practices and regulatory mandates. Additionally, automating CLM also helps reduce manual errors and enables effective management of certificates at scale.

  • Certificate Monitoring and Audits

AppViewX CERT+ helps group certificates and keys based on specific business use cases or by business units or teams to simplify monitoring. You can create audit trails to log every certificate and key-related activity for granular control and easy auditing. You can also generate periodic reports to detect anomalies, eliminate non-compliant certificates, and simplify auditing.

Start Now to Stay Ahead

As cyberattacks grow more rampant and sophisticated, cyber resilience and compliance have become top priorities for organizations across all industry sectors. The cybersecurity requirements stipulated by the NIS2 directive give organizations an opportunity to implement best practices, reduce risk, and build the resilience to tackle emerging threats. With less than six months left, all organizations, regardless of whether they fall under the ‘critical’ or ‘important’ categories must start preparing for NIS2 today to strengthen their cybersecurity postures and avoid the penalty for non-compliance.

When it comes to certificate-related compliance, implementing an advanced CLM solution, such as AppViewX CERT+, that offers visibility, automation, and control of digital certificates can help double down on data protection and ensure continuous compliance without impeding speed or agility.

Talk to an AppViewX expert today for a demo on how to quickly begin automating certificate lifecycle management to prepare for the NIS2 Directive.

Tags

  • certificate lifecycle management
  • Certificate Management
  • cryptography
  • Digital Certificates
  • Kubernetes
  • NIS2 Directive
  • PKI

About the Author

Krupa Patil

Product Marketing Manager

A content creator focused on providing readers and prospective buyers with accurate, useful, and latest product information to help them make better informed decisions.

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