How to Comply with the NIS2 Requirements

Balazs Refi

January 3, 2024

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Learn more about the NIS2 requirements. We show the essential steps for aligning your cybersecurity strategies with the NIS2 directive.


With the increase in cyberattacks and the growing threat to critical infrastructure, complying with the NIS2 requirements has become imperative for organizations. The NIS2 directive requires member states to establish a cybersecurity framework and promote a culture of cybersecurity.

In this article, we guide you through the process of NIS2 compliance, including conducting a cybersecurity assessment, mapping NIS2 requirements to your infrastructure, and developing a comprehensive compliance plan.

By following our guidelines, you can ensure that your organization meets NIS2 requirements and proactively mitigates the risks associated with cyberattacks.

Key Takeaways

  1. 1
    Compliance with the NIS2 requirements is crucial for safeguarding critical infrastructures.
  2. 2
    An effective compliance plan involves assessing your current cybersecurity measures, mapping NIS2 requirements to your infrastructure, and establishing risk management frameworks.
  3. 3
    Enhancing incident detection and response capabilities, securing network and information systems, and ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery are also essential components of NIS2 compliance.
  4. 4
    Training and awareness programs can help foster a cybersecurity culture within your organization.
  5. 5
    Continuous improvement and compliance monitoring are necessary to ensure your organization stays up-to-date with regulatory changes and proactively addresses cybersecurity risks.

Understanding the NIS2 Requirements

At its core, the NIS2 directive aims to establish a high level of cybersecurity across EU Member States.

The updated NIS2 directive requires a wider range of entities from various sectors to adhere to its requirements, primarily those who offer essential services, have a significant impact on the economy, or are critical for society.

The directive emphasizes a risk-based approach and mandates that organizations implement effective measures to detect, prevent, and manage security incidents.

Key requirements of the NIS2 directive include:

  1. 1
    Identifying and assessing risks to network and information systems
  2. 2
    Implementing appropriate security measures to reduce identified risks
  3. 3
    Developing and implementing incident management procedures
  4. 4
    Ensuring business continuity and resilience throughout the organization
  5. 5
    Establishing continuous monitoring processes to detect and respond to attacks

Adhering to these requirements is crucial to ensure compliance with the NIS2 directive and mitigate the risks associated with cyber threats.

Assessing Your Current Cybersecurity Measures

Before implementing NIS2 compliance measures, it is crucial to assess your current cybersecurity practices. Conducting a thorough cybersecurity assessment can identify any potential gaps in your security strategies and help you create a strong foundation for future compliance efforts.

Evaluating your current practices involves analyzing various aspects of your cybersecurity, including your information systems, networks, software, and hardware. It is crucial to identify any vulnerabilities or gaps that could lead to security breaches.

During the assessment, it is essential to evaluate your organization's security policies, procedures, and protocols. Assess whether your security measures align with NIS2's requirements. You can use compliance frameworks, such as ISO/IEC 27001, to benchmark your current practices against best practices and evaluate their effectiveness.

By identifying existing gaps, you can develop a comprehensive plan to address them. This will help you align your cybersecurity strategies with the NIS2 requirements, stay compliant, and safeguard your critical infrastructures.

Mapping NIS2 Requirements to Your Infrastructure

Compliance with the NIS2 directive requires a comprehensive understanding of the key requirements and an assessment of your current cybersecurity measures. Once you've taken these initial steps, the next crucial task is mapping the specific NIS2 requirements to your existing infrastructure.

Mapping involves a detailed analysis of your systems and a risk assessment to identify any gaps that may exist - gaps that need to be filled to meet NIS2 compliance. By doing so, you can ensure that your ongoing efforts to comply with the directive are tailored to your organization's unique needs and risk landscape.

1. Infrastructure Analysis

To effectively map NIS2 requirements to your infrastructure, you first need to conduct an in-depth analysis of your existing systems. This analysis should cover everything from your critical assets and data flows to network architecture and access control.

A critical component of infrastructure analysis is identifying your organization's most vulnerable areas. This means accounting for the potential impact of various types of cyberattacks and understanding how your current systems would respond.

Here, you may need to consider factors like the age and reliability of your systems, existing security controls, and how well you're currently able to monitor and respond to suspicious activity.

2. Risk Assessment

Conducting a detailed risk assessment is also a vital step in mapping NIS2 requirements to your infrastructure. A risk assessment helps you identify any potential threats to the security and availability of your information systems and critical assets.

During the assessment, you may discover vulnerabilities that could allow malicious actors to exploit weaknesses in your systems. Your risk assessment should also account for events like natural disasters, which could threaten the availability of your systems.

Once you've completed your assessment, you'll be ready to map specific NIS2 requirements to your infrastructure. This will involve identifying which NIS2 requirements apply to each aspect of your infrastructure, and establishing a comprehensive plan for addressing any identified gaps.

By mapping NIS2 requirements to your infrastructure in this way, you'll be able to create a customized cybersecurity strategy that aligns with the specific needs and risks of your organization.

Developing a Comprehensive NIS2 Compliance Plan

Compliance with the NIS2 requirements involves developing a detailed plan that aligns with the specific requirements of the directive. Our team recommends undertaking the following steps in creating a comprehensive NIS2 compliance plan:

  1. 1
    Setting Objectives: Identify the specific objectives that need to be achieved for NIS2 compliance. This includes a clear understanding of the NIS2 requirements and how they apply to your organization.
  2. 2
    Assigning Responsibilities: Determine who will be responsible for carrying out each objective in the compliance plan. This includes the identification of key roles and responsibilities within the organization.
  3. 3
    Establishing a Timeline: Develop a timeline for implementing the compliance plan, ensuring that it is realistic and achievable. This includes considering the resources needed to complete each objective within the given timeframe.

By developing a comprehensive compliance plan, organizations can ensure that they are meeting the NIS2 requirements and safeguarding their critical infrastructures from potential cyber threats.

NIS2 Requirements - Bluebird blog

Enhancing Incident Detection and Response Capabilities

To comply with the NIS2 requirements, improving incident detection and response capabilities is crucial. Our team proposes to consider the following strategies:

  1. 1
    Implementing Robust Monitoring Systems: A proactive approach to incident detection involves automated monitoring of all critical systems, applications and assets. We recommend adopting an integrated Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system, which can detect anomalies in real-time, and forward threat intelligence and alerts.
  2. 2
    Establishing Effective Incident Response Procedures: Early recognition of an incident, paired with effective response procedures, can mitigate the impact and prevent breaches. Efficient incident response involves establishing a clear chain of command, defining escalation paths, and delivering institutionalized incident response processes across multiple stakeholder groups. Developing a comprehensive play-book with documented procedures, checklists, and communication guidelines is strongly recommended.
  3. 3
    Analyzing and Improving Services: Organizations should frequently refine their incident response services by assessing their current performance. Information such as Mean Time to Detect (MTTD), Mean Time to Respond (MTTR), and First Contact Resolution (FCR) can be collected and used as benchmarks for service quality and further improvement.

By implementing these strategies and others, you can enhance your team's incident detection and response capabilities, meet the NIS2 directives and protect your organization from potential security risks.

Securing Network and Information Systems

Ensuring network security and system security is essential to comply with the NIS2 requirements and protect critical assets. To achieve this, the following good practices are recommended.


Implementing Strong Password Policies

Strong password policies should be put in place to safeguard against unauthorized access. Passwords should be complex, changed regularly, and not easily guessed. Two-factor authentication can be added to provide an extra layer of security.


Firewall Protection and Encryption

Firewall protection and encryption measures should be implemented to protect against potential cyber threats. A properly configured firewall blocks unauthorized access to the network, while encryption makes it more difficult for attackers to access sensitive data.


Regular Backup and Update Procedures

Regular backup and update procedures are essential to protect against data loss and system breaches. Backing up critical data offsite provides added protection, while updating software and systems regularly mitigates against known vulnerabilities and potential exploits.


Access Management and Control

Access management and control measures can limit the number of users with privileged access, ensuring that critical assets are protected. Strong authentication measures should be put in place for all users, and access privileges should be regularly reviewed and updated.


Incident Response Strategies

Having an incident response plan in place can help to minimize the impact of any security breaches. Such a plan should outline the actions to be taken in the event of a breach, assign responsibilities, and detail the procedures to be followed to contain and resolve the incident.

Establishing Risk Management Frameworks

Risk management is a critical component of NIS2 compliance. To establish effective risk management frameworks that align with NIS2 guidelines, it is important to understand the principles of risk governance.

At the core of NIS2 compliance is the need to identify and assess risks to information systems and critical infrastructures. This involves using risk assessment methodologies that take into account the nature and potential impact of cyber threats.

Risk Assessment Methodologies


Vulnerability Assessment

Identifying and categorizing vulnerabilities in IT systems and networks

Threat Assessment

Identifying potential threats and estimating their likelihood of occurrence

Impact Assessment

Assessing the potential impact of a cybersecurity incident on critical assets

Risk Evaluation

Combining the results of the above assessments to determine the overall risk level

Regular risk reviews are also essential to ensure ongoing compliance and identify any emerging risks or changes to the threat landscape that may impact your organization. By establishing robust risk management frameworks, organizations can proactively safeguard their critical infrastructures and comply with the NIS2 requirements.

Ensuring Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Business continuity planning and disaster recovery strategies are crucial components of NIS2 compliance, which help organizations to minimize disruptions and maintain resilience.

Effective business continuity planning involves the development of a comprehensive strategy for addressing potential disruptions to systems, infrastructure, and operations. This strategy should include the identification of critical assets, the assessment of potential risks and vulnerabilities, and the implementation of appropriate measures to ensure continuity of operations.

Disaster recovery strategies, on the other hand, focus on the swift recovery of systems and data in the event of a disaster or a cyber-attack. This involves the establishment of recovery objectives, the development of recovery plans, and regular testing and maintenance of these plans to ensure their effectiveness.

Training and Awareness Programs

At the heart of any robust cybersecurity strategy is an informed and knowledgeable workforce. Cybersecurity training ensures employees have the skills and knowledge to identify and respond to threats effectively. By investing in training and awareness programs, organizations can foster a strong cybersecurity culture and minimize the risk of a data breach.

When designing training initiatives, it's essential to consider the unique needs of your organization. A one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to resonate with employees or address specific cybersecurity risks. Instead, training and awareness programs should be tailored to cover key risks, such as phishing attacks, password management, or social engineering.

Effective training initiatives involve a combination of online and in-person training sessions, regular refresher courses, and simulated attack scenarios. This approach ensures employees are equipped with the necessary skills to identify and respond to threats independently.

Employee awareness is also a critical component of any successful cybersecurity strategy. Employees should be encouraged to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity, creating a culture of transparency and shared responsibility. A comprehensive training program can help ensure employees are aware of the risks and why their role is essential in protecting the organization.

Capacity building, or the process of developing staff's skills and knowledge in a particular area, is crucial for ongoing success. Organizations must allocate time and resources to maintaining and improving skills and knowledge continually. Cybersecurity is a rapidly evolving area, and continuous learning is vital to stay ahead of emerging threats.

Continuous Improvement and Compliance Monitoring

Compliance with the NIS2 requirements is an ongoing process, and monitoring strategies must be implemented to ensure continued adherence. Regular assessments and audits are necessary to identify potential weaknesses that might be exploited, and to ensure that existing protocols remain relevant and effective.

Continuous improvement is vital in this regard, with cyber threats and technologies always evolving. It involves the use of an iterative approach to enhance the current security measures continually. It is crucial to remain current with regulatory updates, monitoring emerging trends, tracking attack trends, and seeking improvement opportunities.

Compliance monitoring involves conducting regular evaluations of associated risk, assessing the policies and processes often, and conducting audits to detect possible gaps. It is essential to stay ahead of any weaknesses that might arise, given the ever-changing cyber threat landscape.


How can I comply with the NIS2 requirements?

To comply with the NIS2 requirements, you need to align your cybersecurity strategies with its requirements. This involves conducting a thorough assessment of your current cybersecurity measures, mapping NIS2 requirements to your infrastructure, and developing a comprehensive compliance plan.

What is the NIS2 directive?

The NIS2 directive is a regulatory framework that aims to enhance the cybersecurity of network and information systems across the European Union. It sets out specific requirements for organizations to ensure the security and resilience of critical infrastructure.

How do I assess my current cybersecurity measures?

Assessing your current cybersecurity measures involves evaluating your existing practices and identifying any gaps or vulnerabilities. This can be done through a comprehensive cybersecurity assessment that examines your systems, policies, and procedures.

How do I map NIS2 requirements to my infrastructure?

To map NIS2 requirements to your infrastructure, you need to analyze your systems and conduct a risk assessment. This will help you identify the specific security controls and measures needed to address the requirements of the directive.

How do I develop a NIS2 compliance plan?

Developing a NIS2 compliance plan involves setting clear objectives, assigning responsibilities, and establishing a timeline for implementation. It is important to involve key stakeholders and ensure the plan aligns with your organization's overall cybersecurity strategy.

How can I enhance my incident detection and response capabilities?

Enhancing incident detection and response capabilities requires implementing robust monitoring systems and establishing effective incident response procedures. This includes deploying advanced threat detection tools, training your staff, and regularly testing your incident response plans.

How can I secure my network and information systems?

To secure your network and information systems, you need to implement strong security controls such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and access controls. It is important to regularly update and patch your systems, encrypt sensitive data, and conduct regular vulnerability assessments.

How do I establish risk management frameworks?

Establishing risk management frameworks involves adopting risk governance practices, implementing risk assessment methodologies, and ensuring regular risk reviews. This will help you identify and mitigate potential cybersecurity risks in line with NIS2 guidelines.

How do I ensure business continuity and disaster recovery?

Ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery involves developing comprehensive plans and strategies. This means identifying critical business processes, implementing backup and recovery solutions, and regularly testing and updating plans to ensure resilience in the event of a cyber incident.

How can I conduct effective cybersecurity training and awareness programs?

Conducting effective cybersecurity training and awareness programs involves developing targeted training initiatives for employees, raising awareness about common cyber threats and best practices, and fostering a cybersecurity culture within your organization. Regular training and reinforcement of cybersecurity policies are vital.

Why is continuous improvement and compliance monitoring important?

Continuous improvement and compliance monitoring are crucial for staying up-to-date with regulatory changes and ensuring the effectiveness of your cybersecurity strategies. Regularly evaluate and enhance your security measures, conduct compliance audits, and stay informed about emerging threats and industry best practices.

What is the main takeaway regarding NIS2 compliance?

Complying with the NIS2 requirements is essential for safeguarding critical infrastructures. By aligning your cybersecurity strategies with the directive's requirements, conducting thorough assessments, and implementing robust security measures, you can enhance the resilience of your network and information systems.

Thank you for reading our blog post. We hope that this article has helped you inform about the NIS2 requirements.

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