NIS2 Directive: get ready to better secure your networks!
The new version of the Network and Information Security Directive (“NIS2”) will come into force by the end of 2022. It is a response to hackers who attack not only prime contractors but also their less well protected subcontractors.
Each subcontractor holds or has access to trade secrets that may be essential to the continuity of its industry, particularly if they relate to:
- Its products or services: its prices, its know-how, its manufacturing processes or its algorithms.
- Its activities: its strategy, its organization.
- The end-user products and services: its own client reveals part of its strategic positioning, that of the first-tier prime contractor and the expectations of the final market, notably through the specifications.
By attacking these intangible assets, hackers can destabilize an entire industry:
- Destruction of the production capacity by the unavailability or alteration of information.
- Destruction of the value by publishing or reselling the stolen information, sometimes acting directly on behalf of third parties.
The NIS2 directive will lead more economic actors to improve their management of trade secrets. They will also have to report cybersecurity incidents in order to improve the level of resilience and the reaction capabilities throughout the whole European Union. As far as possible, these notifications should not contain any trade secrets. The role of the prime contractors will be critical for the compliance of their stakeholders.
Thus, each of them will have to identify the trade secrets it holds or to which it has access. They will also have to justify them and adopt the appropriate behaviors to ensure their protection (formalization, access, use, awareness, cybersecurity aspects).
Compliance with trade secrets laws is the first step to effective protection and the mandatory prerequisite to be able to claim the looted information if necessary.
Source : Conseil de l’UE – Proposition de directive – Analyse du texte de compromis final en vue d’un accord – 17 juin 2022