After several years in the making, the first EU-wide set of cybersecurity and breach reporting guidelines has received final approval from the European Parliament. The Network and Information Security Directive (NISD) requires critical infrastructure operators such as banks, telecom and Internet providers and health care corporations to bolster their cybersecurity measures and report major data breaches.
First proposed by the European Commission in early 2013, the NISD is intended to establish a baseline set of cybersecurity safeguards and foster cooperation and information sharing among EU member states, which will be required to exchange information about threats, adopt national network and information security strategies and establish computer security incident response teams.
“Fragmentary cybersecurity protection makes us all vulnerable and poses a big security risk for Europe as a whole,” said Andreas Schwab, the European Parliament member from Germany leading passage of NISD. “This directive will establish a common level of network and information security and enhance cooperation among EU member states, which will help prevent cyberattacks on Europe’s important interconnected infrastructures in the future.”
In March 2014, the European Parliament passed a preliminary version of NISD. The passage was followed by debate about whether social media and Internet search providers should be regulated under the law. In December 2015, Parliament okayed a final version of the rule that put those companies under the scope of the regulations.
With final parliamentary approval in hand, NISD will take effect 20 days after publication in the EU Official Journal. Member states subsequently will have 21 months to adapt the directive to their national laws and six additional months to identify companies that will be covered by the directive.
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