European Union: Cybersecurity In The EU – Massive Change On Its Way

Last Updated: 29 October 2013
Article by Stewart Room

Security continues to be high on the agenda of European legislators. The proposed EU Cybersecurity Directive will extend security regulation beyond the confines of personal data and telcos. Operators of critical infrastructure will be aff ected, as will online platforms that support other online services.

Is anyone unsure about the EU agenda for cyber and data security? If you want some insight you could easily check the UK Information Commissioner's website and you see that in 2012 over 20 data controllers were hit with big fines for security breaches affecting personal data.

Or you could rewind to January 2012, when the EU published the Draft General Data Protection Regulation, which will impose mandatory breach disclosure on every data controller operating in the EU, backed up with potential fines of up to 2% of annual worldwide turnover for those organisations who fail badly.

Or you could go back a little further still, to October 2009, when the EU introduced the mandatory breach disclosure rule for telcos and ISPs, which has been operating since early 2011.

Actually, you don't need to do any of that. Instead, just focus on the draft EU Cybersecurity Directive, which was published on 7 February 2013. It's a short document, easy to get to grips with, and within a few minutes the implications will be obvious to you.

The new Directive makes it compulsory for all "market operators", including utilities, transport and financial services businesses, as well as public authorities who use "network and information systems" within their businesses to implement technical and organisations measures to manage cyber risks. These organisations will be subject to independent regulation, they will have to disclose security breaches to the regulators, they will have to submit to compulsory regulatory audits and they will be sanctioned if they fail to comply with the law.

The scope and magnitude of this new Directive is huge. Obviously, the regulation of cyber risks in utilities, transport, financial services and public authorities is massive in its own right, but it's the wider concept of "market operator" that really needs to be looked at.

A market operator includes a provider of information society services "that enable the provision of other information society services".

Information society services are colloquially called ecommerce services in the EU, but this is about much more than online shopping, because in the EU an information society service is essentially a service that is provided over the internet, whether or not a fee is charged. In other words, an information society service can be a shopping site, a social network, a search engine, or an "over the top" communications systems (like Skype) and so on, whether or not they are web or app based.

Looking again at the definition of market operator, what really counts is whether the information society service is supporting another information society service. Our privacy blog, privacylawblog.ffw.com, is an information society service, but it's not supporting another, so it's not caught by the Cybersecurity Directive. What the Directive is looking for is the platform of support – if you are a platform for an ISS, then you are regulated.

If all of this sounds too complicated, don't worry, the Directive provides some indicative examples. These are: ecommerce platforms, internet payment gateways, social networks, search engines, cloud computing services and application stores.

This is an incredible list and the magnitude of the Directive becomes obvious when you start adding names to the list:

  • ecommerce platform = Amazon and eBay provide market platforms for traders and iTunes has to be captured too
  • internet payment gateways = PayPal is the most obvious one, but there loads of others, like Worldpay
  • social networks = Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and so on
  • search engines = Google
  • cloud = basically every tech co in the World!!!
  • application stores = I think Apple has one (!), Google too, Amazon again and what about the telcos ... isn't Blackberry launching one now too?

This seems quite incredible at first, but it's real. And its obvious really, isn't it, because it is the Cybersecurity Directive after all! It wouldn't deserve this name if it didn't regulate these household names.

There is a lot to like in the Directive, but businesses will have concerns about the nature of regulation and the competence of the regulators. There are also some worrying grey areas in the Directive, such as the delegation of many powers to quangos, which is never good for legal certainty. I would expect many big tech companies to be looking hard at how to engage with the EU on this, because there is much to be shaped-up.

But wrapping this altogether and tying up the various strands, what we see within the EU is radical lawmaking for security. Any organisation that misses this point will come unstuck. That's why the law is being reformed, specifically to cause behavioural change. Whether you look at security from a data protection angle or a cyber angle, it does not matter; you just have to be more secure.

I've posted a diagram below which shows the core legal pillars for data and cybersecurity in the EU, now and coming. What you are seeing here is a coalescence of approach and obligation. The end game is a single legal test – take appropriate technical and organisational measures to secure your networks and data. That's the European approach.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.