April 18, 2024

What is NIS2 and Its Minimal Compliance Requirements?

In today's digital landscape, a robust cybersecurity measure is no longer optional – it's essential. Recognizing this, the European Union has expanded and built upon its previously enacted Network and Information Security Directive (NIS1), to a newer and more comprehensive version called the NIS2.

This blog post will provide a detailed overview of NIS2 and its implications for businesses operating within the EU. We'll explore who falls under the directive's purview, dive into the key requirements it outlines, and offer guidance on how businesses can achieve compliance.

Additionally, we'll discuss the potential consequences of non-compliance, empowering businesses to navigate the new regulatory landscape, and effectively protect their sensitive data.

What is NIS2?

NIS2 or the Network and Information Security Directive is an EU wide legislation to significantly strengthen cybersecurity across the member states. It lays down a stringent legal framework and extends the scope of the legislation to a wider range of sectors, including essential services like energy, healthcare, and transportation.

NIS2 is the continued expansion of its preceding directive NIS1, which was first enacted in July 2016. While NIS1 laid the groundwork for improving cybersecurity standards in critical sectors, NIS2 goes further by expanding its scope, tightening requirements, and strengthening enforcement mechanisms.

Who is Covered Under the NIS2 Directive?

The following two sectors are covered under the NIS2’s obligations.

Essential Sectors: If an organization operates in any of the following explicitly listed essential sectors, then it automatically falls under NIS2 and is bound by the mandatory compliance requirements. The essential sectors include:

  • Energy (electricity, gas, oil)
  • Transport (airports, railways, maritime)
  • Healthcare (hospitals, pharmacies)
  • Finance (banks, investment firms, insurance)
  • Waste management (water, waste disposal)
  • Postal Services
  • Digital infrastructure (data centers, internet exchanges)
  • Important Sectors: If an organization operates in a sector classified as ‘important’, then the compliance depends on specific criteria like size, number of users, and impact on the society. Some examples of important sectors include:

  • Platform operators (online marketplaces, social media)
  • Manufacturing (chemicals, pharmaceuticals)
  • Food and beverage
  • Public administration
  • For a more detailed overview, download our free step-by-step PDF guide on how to assess your organization's NIS2 compliance requirements: https://axcrypt.net/information/nis2/

    What are the Minimum Compliance Steps of NIS2?

    Though the NIS2 raises the bar for cybersecurity across Europe, its requirements vary based on an organization's size, societal function, and exposure. Smaller businesses get some flexibility, while larger entities face stricter obligations.

    Despite the disparities in the requirements however, there are essential minimum measures all relevant businesses must implement, which can ensure compliance, and AxCrypt's encryption software can help you achieve some of them.

    Following are the minimum requirement points for any organization under NIS2.

  • Risk Assessment & Security Policies:
  • Identify cyber threats and build defenses with regular risk assessments and defined security policies.

  • Incident Response Plan:
  • Have a plan for handling security incidents quickly and effectively.

  • Business Continuity Plan:
  • Develop a business continuity plan to ensure smooth operations even after an attack. AxCrypt can help with secure and automatic encrypted backups on clouds.

  • Secure Supply Chain:
  • Manage risks associated with third-party vendors.

  • Measure Security Effectiveness:
  • Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your security measures to identify and address weaknesses.

  • Secure System Procurement & Development:
  • Implement policies for handling and reporting vulnerabilities in procured systems and your own development processes.

  • Cybersecurity Training & Hygiene:
  • Provide cybersecurity training and promote basic cyber hygiene practices among employees.

  • Encryption:
  • Implement policies and procedures for using cryptography and encryption to protect sensitive data. AxCrypt offers secure file encryption and sharing solutions with AES-256.

  • Employee Security:
  • Establish security procedures for employees with access to sensitive data and maintain an overview of all relevant assets.

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):
  • Use MFA and other advanced authentication solutions whenever possible.

    Note: These are the minimum steps that an organization can take to start complying with the NIS2 guidelines! A consultation with a compliance officer is recommended for a more comprehensive approach specific to your organization.

    What are the Penalties for Non-Compliance in NIS2?

    Failing to comply with the NIS2 directive before the deadline can have significant consequences for your organization, impacting finances, reputation, and even legal standing. Here's what you need to know:

    Financial Penalties:

  • Fines up to €10 million or 2% of your global annual turnover (whichever is higher) – a hefty burden for any organization, especially smaller businesses.
  • Additional administrative sanctions: These can include temporary bans on operating, limitations on data processing, and even public naming and shaming.
  • Key Dates to Remember:

  • 2019: Initiation of NIS2 development.
  • December 2022: Official adoption of NIS2.
  • October 17, 2024: Deadline for compliance
  • It’s important to remember that a proactive approach can help your organization better comply with the NIS2 guidelines before the deadline, and avoid the hefty fines and sanctions that it imposes.

    How Does AxCrypt Help Your Organization Comply?

    AxCrypt is an award-winning file and data encryption software that secures sensitive files with AES-256 bit algorithm. AxCrypt has consistently been the number 1 choice of PCMag as the ‘Best Encryption Software’, for 9 consecutive years since 2016.

    AxCrypt secures your sensitive documents, photos, videos, and other files with powerful encryption. It is available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android and integrates with Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and iCloud to automatically encrypt and sync your files for a secure backup.

    Here’s how AxCrypt helps you comply directly with the minimum aforementioned requirements from the NIS2.

    Pt3. Business Continuity Plan: Your sensitive files will be secured and backed up on the popular cloud storage providers with AES-256 – ensuring smooth operations and business continuity even if a breach has occurred.

    Pt7. Cybersecurity Training & Hygiene: AxCrypt is committed to delivering ongoing, top-notch education and guidance on data security and cybersecurity. Through our user-friendly blogs and website content, you'll gain insights into best practices for securing your data effectively.

    Pt8. Encryption: AxCrypt’s Award-Winning encryption protects your sensitive files at all times. Files can be securely shared and opened and worked on from your any device while they’re still being protected with encryption.


    The NIS2 raises the bar for cybersecurity across Europe. While the specific requirements may vary based on your organization's size and sector, understanding the core principles of NIS2 empowers you to take proactive steps towards securing your data and infrastructure.

    Don't wait until the deadline looms! Take a proactive approach to NIS2 compliance today. Download our free NIS2 Compliance Guide and explore how AxCrypt's award-winning encryption software can contribute to your organization's cybersecurity posture. Remember, a secure digital future starts with prioritizing strong cybersecurity practices today.

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