The NIS 2 Directive, Final Text

NIS 2 Directive, Preamble 101-110.

(101) This Directive lays down a multiple-stage approach to the reporting of significant incidents in order to strike the right balance between, on the one hand, swift reporting that helps mitigate the potential spread of significant incidents and allows essential and important entities to seek assistance, and, on the other, in-depth reporting that draws valuable lessons from individual incidents and improves over time the cyber resilience of individual entities and entire sectors.

In that regard, this Directive should include the reporting of incidents that, based on an initial assessment carried out by the entity concerned, could cause severe operational disruption of the services or financial loss for that entity or affect other natural or legal persons by causing considerable material or non-material damage.

Such initial assessment should take into account, inter alia, the affected network and information systems, in particular their importance in the provision of the entity’s services, the severity and technical characteristics of a cyber threat and any underlying vulnerabilities that are being exploited as well as the entity’s experience with similar incidents. Indicators such as the extent to which the functioning of the service is affected, the duration of an incident or the number of affected recipients of services could play an important role in identifying whether the operational disruption of the service is severe.

(102) Where essential or important entities become aware of a significant incident, they should be required to submit an early warning without undue delay and in any event within 24 hours. That early warning should be followed by an incident notification. The entities concerned should submit an incident notification without undue delay and in any event within 72 hours of becoming aware of the significant incident, with the aim, in particular, of updating information submitted through the early warning and indicating an initial assessment of the significant incident, including its severity and impact, as well as indicators of compromise, where available.

A final report should be submitted not later than one month after the incident notification. The early warning should only include the information necessary to make the CSIRT, or where applicable the competent authority, aware of the significant incident and allow the entity concerned to seek assistance, if required. Such early warning, where applicable, should indicate whether the significant incident is suspected of being caused by unlawful or malicious acts, and whether it is likely to have a cross-border impact.

Member States should ensure that the obligation to submit that early warning, or the subsequent incident notification, does not divert the notifying entity’s resources from activities related to incident handling that should be prioritised, in order to prevent incident reporting obligations from either diverting resources from significant incident response handling or otherwise compromising the entity’s efforts in that respect. In the event of an ongoing incident at the time of the submission of the final report, Member States should ensure that entities concerned provide a progress report at that time, and a final report within one month of their handling of the significant incident.

(103) Where applicable, essential and important entities should communicate, without undue delay, to their service recipients any measures or remedies that they can take to mitigate the resulting risks from a significant cyber threat. Those entities should, where appropriate and in particular where the significant cyber threat is likely to materialise, also inform their service recipients of the threat itself.

The requirement to inform those recipients of significant cyber threats should be met on a best efforts basis but should not discharge those entities from the obligation to take, at their own expense, appropriate and immediate measures to prevent or remedy any such threats and restore the normal security level of the service. The provision of such information about significant cyber threats to the service recipients should be free of charge and drafted in easily comprehensible language.

(104) Providers of public electronic communications networks or of publicly available electronic communications services should implement security by design and by default, and inform their service recipients of significant cyber threats and of measures they can take to protect the security of their devices and communications, for example by using specific types of software or encryption technologies.

(105) A proactive approach to cyber threats is a vital component of cybersecurity risk management that should enable the competent authorities to effectively prevent cyber threats from materialising into incidents that may cause considerable material or non-material damage. For that purpose, the notification of cyber threats is of key importance. To that end, entities are encouraged to report on a voluntary basis cyber threats.

(106) In order to simplify the reporting of information required under this Directive as well as to decrease the administrative burden for entities, Member States should provide technical means such as a single entry point, automated systems, online forms, user-friendly interfaces, templates, dedicated platforms for the use of entities, regardless of whether they fall within the scope of this Directive, for the submission of the relevant information to be reported.

Union funding supporting the implementation of this Directive, in particular within the Digital Europe programme, established by Regulation (EU) 2021/694 of the European Parliament and of the Council (21), could include support for single entry points. Furthermore, entities are often in a situation where a particular incident, because of its features, needs to be reported to various authorities as a result of notification obligations included in various legal instruments. Such cases create additional administrative burden and could also lead to uncertainties with regard to the format and procedures of such notifications.

Where a single entry point is established, Member States are encouraged also to use that single entry point for notifications of security incidents required under other Union law, such as Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Directive 2002/58/EC. The use of such single entry point for reporting of security incidents under Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Directive 2002/58/EC should not affect the application of the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Directive 2002/58/EC, in particular those relating to the independence of the authorities referred to therein. ENISA, in cooperation with the Cooperation Group, should develop common notification templates by means of guidelines to simplify and streamline the information to be reported under Union law and decrease the administrative burden on notifying entities.

(107) Where it is suspected that an incident is related to serious criminal activities under Union or national law, Member States should encourage essential and important entities, on the basis of applicable criminal proceedings rules in accordance with Union law, to report incidents of a suspected serious criminal nature to the relevant law enforcement authorities. Where appropriate, and without prejudice to the personal data protection rules applying to Europol, it is desirable that coordination between the competent authorities and the law enforcement authorities of different Member States be facilitated by the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and ENISA.

(108) Personal data are in many cases compromised as a result of incidents. In that context, the competent authorities should cooperate and exchange information about all relevant matters with the authorities referred to in Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Directive 2002/58/EC.

(109) Maintaining accurate and complete databases of domain name registration data (WHOIS data) and providing lawful access to such data is essential to ensure the security, stability and resilience of the DNS, which in turn contributes to a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union. For that specific purpose, TLD name registries and entities providing domain name registration services should be required to process certain data necessary to achieve that purpose.

Such processing should constitute a legal obligation within the meaning of Article 6(1), point (c), of Regulation (EU) 2016/679. That obligation is without prejudice to the possibility to collect domain name registration data for other purposes, for example on the basis of contractual arrangements or legal requirements established in other Union or national law. That obligation aims to achieve a complete and accurate set of registration data and should not result in collecting the same data multiple times. The TLD name registries and the entities providing domain name registration services should cooperate with each other in order to avoid the duplication of that task.

(110) The availability and timely accessibility of domain name registration data to legitimate access seekers is essential for the prevention and combating of DNS abuse, and for the prevention and detection of and response to incidents. Legitimate access seekers are to be understood as any natural or legal person making a request pursuant to Union or national law.

They can include authorities that are competent under this Directive and those that are competent under Union or national law for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences, and CERTs or CSIRTs. TLD name registries and entities providing domain name registration services should be required to enable lawful access to specific domain name registration data, which are necessary for the purposes of the access request, to legitimate access seekers in accordance with Union and national law. The request of legitimate access seekers should be accompanied by a statement of reasons permitting the assessment of the necessity of access to the data.

Note: This is the final text of the NIS 2 Directive. The full name is "Directive (EU) 2022/2555 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2022 on measures for a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union, amending Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 and Directive (EU) 2018/1972, and repealing Directive (EU) 2016/1148 (NIS 2 Directive)".

Articles, Directive (EU) 2022/2555 (NIS 2 Directive):