Proposed Directive on Network and Information Security – frequently asked questions


Information systems can be affected by security incidents, such as human mistakes, natural events, technical failures or malicious attacks. These incidents are becoming bigger, more frequent, and more complex. 57% of people who responded to a Commission consultation said they had experienced Network Information Security (NIS) incidents over the previous year. A lack of NIS can compromise vital services: it can stop businesses functioning, generate substantial financial losses for the EU economy and negatively affect societal welfare. Digital information systems, in particular the internet, work across borders. A disruption in one EU country can have a knock-on effect in other Member States or the EU as a whole – for example, cross-border movement of goods, services and people could be hampered.

Who will benefit and how?

Citizens and consumers, however they define themselves, will have more trust in the technologies, services and systems they rely on day-to-day. This increased confidence will means a more inclusive cyberspace, and a digital economy that grows even faster, supporting our economic recovery.

Governments and businesses will be able to rely on digital networks and infrastructure to provide their essential services at home and across borders. Secure eCommerce platforms could bring more customers online and create new opportunities.

Providers of ICT security products and services will benefit from specific security measures, combined with a more harmonised EU approach. Demand for their products and services is bound to increase, leading to innovative products and economies of scale.

Activists need to be safe online in order to express themselves freely. A more secure and resilient internet means these vital voices will be heard and protected more than happens today.

The EU economy will benefit as sectors that rely heavily on NIS will be supported to offer a more reliable service. Harmonised NIS requirements will lead to more consistent risk management measures and response and more systematic reporting of incidents. All of these should create more equal and stable conditions for anyone trying to compete in Europe’s Single Market. Here to read more.

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