The European Network and Information Security directive (NIS2) was created to update and strengthen the EU's cybersecurity framework, building upon the initial NIS Directive from 2015. The goal is to ensure that organizations operating in, or with, the European Union (EU) have a high common level of network and infrastructure security.


As organizations grapple with the implications of the directive, leveraging Microsoft's security offerings alongside Azure Integration Services (AIS) becomes paramount. In this article, we will delve deeper into how these solutions combine to meet NIS2 requirements effectively.


Understanding NIS2 objectives and principles


NIS2 covers a number of cybersecurity objectives including governance, risk management and incident response. These objectives and principles outline the foundation for compliance, emphasizing the need for robust security measures across critical infrastructure.


So how does NIS2 impact us when working with Azure Integration Services?


First of all, the general considerations that we discussed in our last post about what security means in an Azure Integration Services context still apply.


It is also essential to understand how the objectives and principles outlined in NIS2 align with Microsoft's offerings and services. While Azure provides a robust platform for building, deploying and managing integrations, it also offers several features that directly address NIS2 requirements. Combined with many of Microsoft’s other offerings, Microsoft offers a broad toolbox that fits with NIS2 objectives and principles as well as also other general cybersecurity objectives (see below). 




You might wonder how NIS2 differs from well-known principles related to GDPR. Here it is important to be aware that where GDPR only requires all organizations to protect the personal data of EU citizens, NIS2 is far more comprehensive as it requires organizations providing services of (high) criticality for EU infrastructure to implement measures to minimize potential risks related to all aspects of security.


While both NIS2 and GDPR aim to enhance cybersecurity and protect sensitive data, they differ in scope and applicability. GDPR primarily focuses on protecting the personal data of EU citizens and imposes specific requirements on data controllers and processors, regardless of the sector or industry.


In contrast, NIS2 is broader in scope, targeting organizations that provide essential services and digital service providers, with the goal of ensuring the security and resilience of critical infrastructure and digital services. While GDPR focuses on data privacy and protection, NIS2 encompasses a wider range of security measures, including risk management, incident response and supply chain security.


Navigating compliance with both NIS2 and GDPR requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the unique requirements of each regulation while leveraging synergies between them. By implementing robust security measures and data protection practices within Azure Integration Services, organizations can demonstrate compliance with both NIS2 and GDPR effectively.


How to move forward


NIS2 puts pressure on your technical skills, organizational structure and capabilities. To navigate the complexities of NIS2 compliance and maximize the benefits of Azure Integration Services, organizations should consider the following practical guidance and recommendations:

  1. Make a comprehensive assessment of your organization's security posture and identify areas for improvement in alignment with NIS2 requirements.

  2. Leverage Azure's built-in security features and services to enhance your cybersecurity defenses and ensure compliance with NIS2 regulations.

  3. Implement robust identity and access management controls within Microsoft Identity Platform to secure user authentication and authorization processes.

  4. Engage with trusted partners and cybersecurity experts to gain insights into NIS2 compliance requirements and develop a tailored strategy for implementing Azure Integration Services securely.

By following the practical guidance and recommendations above, organizations can strengthen their cybersecurity posture, mitigate risks effectively, and achieve compliance with NIS2 requirements while leveraging the capabilities of Azure Integration Services. This is not a simple task. With that in mind you need to consider, whether you have the right resources internally for this or if you should seek a partner with the experience and insight to help you.


By Morten Reeslev, Partner Technical Architect and Torben Mosgaard Philippsen, Integration Architect, Cepheo. 


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