Feb 15, 2024
4 min read

8 Steps to Take Now to Improve NIS2 Compliance Readiness

For years, various nations, regions, and industries have been introducing regulations aimed at preventing cyberattacks or limiting the extent of their damage. The European Union (EU) has often led the way when it comes to implementing regulations to protect privacy and enforce cybersecurity best practices across its member states. The EU’s NIS2 Directive, an update to the 2016 Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive, is designed to build cyber-resilience into critical infrastructure and operational technology (OT) environments.  

However, like many other cybersecurity standards, NIS2 does not explicitly call out which tools and technologies can or should be used to help reach a state of compliance. Instead, NIS2 talks in broad terms about the approach needed to secure critical systems. This can lead to confusion and, somewhat paradoxically, leave organizations at risk of onerous non-compliance penalties.  

This guide will offer practical steps your organization can begin taking today in preparation for the NIS2 compliance deadline of October 17, 2024.  

How to Prepare for NIS2  

The key to preparing for NIS2 is to translate its vague language (for instance, “take appropriate and proportionate technical, operational and organisational measures to manage the risks posed to the security of network and information systems”) into deployable, auditable measures that can be used to demonstrate compliance.  

In the months leading up to the compliance deadline, organizations that belong to the essential or important sectors identified in the directive can take the following 8 steps to improve their compliance readiness: 

1. Enforce the Principle of Least Privilege

Use the principle of least privilege to define access permissions for all users and devices, granting access only to needed resources. This is especially crucial for privileged remote users, such as third-party vendors and anyone accessing critical systems. Regularly review and update access permissions to align with job roles and organizational changes. 

2. Require Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Secure all assets, including legacy systems, with MFA as an added layer of protection against unauthorized access. Utilize biometric factors, hardware tokens, or mobile authentication apps to verify identities. 

3. Perform Continuous Authorization

MFA helps secure the initial point of access, but continuous authorization is needed to help ensure security throughout the duration of the connection. Detection of unusual or anomalous behavior during the connection should result in immediate termination.  

4. Manage User Provisioning and Deprovisioning

Establish streamlined processes for provisioning new user accounts and promptly deprovisioning access for employees and third-party contractors upon termination or role changes.  

5. Adopt Oversight Controls to Monitor and Record Sessions

Deploy robust oversight mechanisms to supervise user activities (particularly for remote privileged accounts), detect suspicious behavior, and generate audit trails. Session recordings and audit logs can be used to demonstrate compliance and also as forensic analysis during incident response. 

6. Secure Supply Chains

Third-party vendors and other supply chain partners provide considerable value but also expose organizations to serious risks. Protect critical assets and systems by deploying tools that not only secure access for external users and devices but also monitor and control the actions they can take while connected. 

7. Improve Incident Handling and Response Capabilities

Develop and regularly practice incident response procedures. Ensure that user access can be restricted or terminated if suspicious activity is detected. 

8. Implement the Necessary Tools and Solutions

Achieving NIS2 compliance will require the deployment of security tools to ensure secure access, enforce access and oversight controls, protect supply chains, enhance incident response capabilities, and more. To save money and reduce complexity, organizations may want to choose solutions, such as Cyolo, that perform multiple functions required by NIS2. 

How Cyolo Can Help You Meet NIS2 Compliance  

Cyolo, the access company for the digital enterprise, takes a holistic approach to cybersecurity that aligns closely with the ethos of the NIS2 Directive. The adaptable, infrastructure-agnostic Cyolo PRO (Privileged Remote Access) solution is purpose-built to secure, monitor and audit privileged remote connections to critical infrastructure and OT systems. 

With Cyolo, organizations like yours can proactively implement the steps highlighted here with no operational disruptions and no changes needed to your existing infrastructure. Schedule a demo and begin your path to NIS2 compliance today.

Jennifer Tullman-Botzer


Jennifer Tullman-Botzer is a cybersecurity nerd by day and a history nerd by night. She has over a decade of experience in cybersecurity marketing and is as tired as you are of hackers-in-hoodies stock images. Jennifer joined Cyolo in 2021 and currently serves as Head of Content. Prior to Cyolo, she worked in a variety of marketing roles at IBM Security. She lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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