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Cybersecurity

Understanding NIS2: What Manufacturers Need to Know

5 min. read
31/05/2024
By Laura Libeer
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The NIS2 Directive, a revision of the EU’s original Network and Information Systems (NIS) Directive, significantly tightens cybersecurity requirements across various sectors, including manufacturing. It extends its scope to cover more entities and introduces stringent security and incident reporting obligations.

For manufacturing companies designated as “essential” or “important,” this means mandatory reassessment and enhancement of their cybersecurity practices. They must adopt a risk management approach tailored to digital threats, securing both IT systems and industrial control systems. Additionally, they need to report significant cyber incidents to national authorities promptly, enhancing transparency and response to threats.

Compliance will safeguard critical operations and fortify vital supply chains, while non-compliance could result in significant penalties. This blog explores the implications of NIS2 on Manufacturers, and provides best practices and potential solutions to help ensure your organization is in compliance.

Which Manufacturing Companies Does NIS2 Apply To?

The NIS2 Directive categorizes certain sectors within the manufacturing industry as “important entities” which means they must adhere to specific cybersecurity requirements set by the directive. This includes a range of manufacturing activities such as the production of medical devices, computers, electronics, machinery, vehicles, and other transport equipment. 

Manufacturing companies in these categories need to implement robust cybersecurity measures to protect their operations and comply with NIS2 regulations​​.

NIS2 Compliance Requirements for Manufacturing Companies

For manufacturing companies, being compliant involves assessing and enhancing existing cybersecurity measures to manage and mitigate risks effectively. Companies are required to implement processes that consider the evolving threat landscape, which may necessitate investments in new technologies and possibly entail hiring specialized staff to manage these risks. 

The Directive’s increased focus on cybersecurity is designed to protect the essential services that these companies provide within the EU.

What Are the Implications and Penalties for Non-compliance with NIS2?

The NIS2 Directive imposes stringent penalties for non-compliance. For essential entities, penalties can be as severe as €10 million or 2% of the total annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. For important entities, the fines can reach up to €7 million or 1.4% of the annual turnover, emphasizing the high stakes involved in ensuring cybersecurity measures are up to standard .

Non-compliance not only risks substantial financial loss but also could damage a company’s reputation, disrupt operations and erode customer trust. 

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Best Practices to Enhance Cybersecurity in the Manufacturing Industry

Implementing robust cybersecurity measures in manufacturing is essential for both NIS2 compliance and business success. A single cyber attack can devastate operations, as seen in the 2017 NotPetya attack on Maersk, which halted operations at 76 ports and caused estimated losses of $200 to $300 million. The extensive recovery efforts, including reinstalling thousands of servers and PCs, highlighted the severe operational, financial and reputational impacts. 

Enhancing cybersecurity is critical to protect sensitive data and maintain seamless operations. Here are some key best practices:

  1. Risk Assessment and Management: Conduct regular, comprehensive risk assessments to identify and prioritize actions to mitigate vulnerabilities in IT and OT environments.
  2. Network Segmentation: Isolate and protect sensitive data by segmenting networks and using firewalls and VPNs to control traffic between segments.
  3. Software Updates and Patch Management: Keep all software, including operating systems and firmware, up-to-date with the latest security patches to prevent vulnerabilities.
  4. Implement Access Controls: Enforce the principle of least privilege, using strong authentication mechanisms like multi-factor authentication (MFA) to secure system access.
  5. Employee Training and Awareness Programs: Conduct regular training sessions to educate employees on common threats and cybersecurity best practices, such as secure password policies.
  6. Real-time Monitoring and Incident Response: Use security information and event management (SIEM) systems for real-time monitoring and ensure an updated incident response plan is in place for different cyber threats.

By implementing these practices, manufacturing companies can greatly enhance their cybersecurity posture, safeguarding their operations against both internal and external threats while ensuring compliance with NS2.

NIS2 Compliance Solutions for Manufacturers

Navigating NIS2 compliance is challenging for manufacturing companies with extensive digital and physical assets. To meet stringent cybersecurity and reporting requirements, they need solutions tailored to their specific risks and operational environments. 

NIS 2 compliance tools offer comprehensive risk management, real-time threat detection and seamless reporting – and they integrate with existing systems to provide a holistic cybersecurity view. Benefits include automated compliance checks, reducing administrative burdens and errors, and customized reporting for timely communication with authorities. Some may even offer training modules to foster security awareness within the organization.

With its robust asset management platform, Lansweeper helps manufacturers gain full visibility into every network-connected hardware and software asset – IT, IoT and operational technology (OT) – across their operational landscape. This comprehensive asset inventory is crucial for effective risk assessment and management – core components of NIS2 compliance. 

Lansweeper automates the detection of non-compliant systems and unsecured endpoints, enabling IT teams to prioritize and address vulnerabilities promptly. What’s more, its reporting capabilities streamline the documentation and evidence gathering needed for compliance audits, saving significant time and resources. By deploying Lansweeper’s solution, manufacturing companies can not only achieve compliance with the NIS2 Directive but also enhance their overall cybersecurity resilience. 

Learn more about Lansweeper for the Manufacturing industry, or start a free trial today.

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