EU Adopts Cybersecurity Directive: What US Companies Need to Know

July 11, 2016

Not all the news coming out of Europe these days is about Brexit. In fact, the forces of unity and harmonization remain a top priority for European regulators hoping to combat digital security threats and create a safer and more secure environment for the entire online community. To this end, on July 6, 2016, the European Parliament adopted the Network and Information Security (“NIS”) Directive in an effort to enhance cybersecurity and incident reporting at a national level across all of its member states (“NIS Directive”). This move followed an announcement the day before from the European Commission (the “Commission”) that it had launched a public-private initiative that will steer €1.8 billion of investment into cybersecurity by 2020. According to a recent survey cited by the Commission, 80% or more of European companies were victims of a cybersecurity incident during the last year and the number of such incidents increased globally across all industries by 38% in 2015. The Commission’s Vice President in charge of the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, commented that “without trust and security, there can be no Digital Single Market” and that “Europe has to be ready to tackle cyber-threats that are increasingly sophisticated and do not recognize borders.” The NIS Directive is a major step in this direction.

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