European Parliament Adopts Cybersecurity Directive

    Jul 12, 2016

    Certain businesses and online companies in Europe will face new security and reporting obligations, and EU national governments will be required to cooperate with each on network security issues, as part of a new cybersecurity directive approved by the European Parliament on July 6. The Directive, which was first proposed by the Commission in 2013 to ensure a high common level of network and information security across the EU, will require businesses in the energy, transport, water, banking, financial market infrastructures, healthcare, and digital infrastructure sectors to take appropriate security measures and to notify relevant national authorities about serious incidents. In addition, the Directive imposes security and notification requirements on digital service providers such as search engines, cloud computing services, and online marketplaces.

    For national governments, the Directive requires each member state to adopt a national strategy on the security of network and information systems defining the strategic objectives and appropriate policy and regulatory measures. They must designate one or more national competent authorities to monitor the application of the Directive, and establish one or more Computer Security Incident Response teams (CSIRTs). Further, the Directive establishes a cooperation group to support and facilitate cooperation and the exchange of information among member states, and establishes a network of the national CSIRTs. 

    According to the Commission’s web site, the Directive will enter into force in August 2016, after which member states will have 21 months to transpose the Directive into their national laws and six months more to identify operators of essential services.

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