Leading cybersecurity consultancy, PGI Cyber have this week launched an online community aimed at Operators of Essential Services (OES) needing to navigate the Network and Information Systems Directive (NISD).
The community is open to people across the OES, Competent Authority and NISD regulatory community.
Managing Director of PGI Cyber, Brian Lord believes the NISD community of interest provides a much-needed information sharing, collaboration and discussion platform for organisations to help each other understand the controls and share knowledge – both specific and cross-sector.
“GDPR caused a lot of unnecessary disruption because it was poorly communicated, introduced and over-dramatised,” Mr Lord said.
“The subsequent ‘expert’ advice that organisations sought to help them comply was poor, inconsistent and often introduced expensive, damaging operational constraints that simply could and should have been avoided.
“The NISD is focused on a much smaller group of organisations which means we have the chance to help avoid a repeat.
“While NCSC and the Competent Authorities assigned to each sector are engaging with the respective Operators over NISD implementation, there is always the need for a cross-sector platform where the community can share advice, experiences, principles and best practice to enable a cheaper and less disruptive implementation process to the standards of compliance that the directive requires.
“The NISD framework understandably needs to ensure operational resilience in those essential services that rely heavily on technology, in the face of generic security failure or more focussed and targeted malicious disruption.
“While many NISD-affected organisations already have the skills and knowledge to meet compliance requirements and won’t need advice, there are still many that will need access to a community of information, support and expertise in the area of implementation.
“First, to avoid being unnecessarily exploited by the more avaricious consultancies who are leaping into this particular pond and secondly, to help negotiate some regulatory controls that may be enforced with the best intent but without consideration to some of the commercial and operational implications,” he said.
The NISD—introduced as UK law in May 2018—is a piece of legislation overseen by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) aimed at establishing common security framework principles for network and information systems that support delivery of essential services.
Operators of Essential Services—including transport, water, energy, health and digital infrastructure—must adhere to a set of controls which are administered by each sector’s own ‘Competent Authority’ under the guidance of the NCSC.
Failure to meet compliance could result in fines up to £17 million, depending on the sector.
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