Luxembourg: Mandatory Cyber Security Standards Apply To Operators Of Critical Infrastructure, Digital And Public Service Providers In Bulgaria

Last Updated: 2 January 2019
Article by Dessislava Fessenko

December 2018 – Bulgaria-based operators of critical infrastructure, digital and public service providers must deploy state-of-the-art technology and processes in order to fend off cyber incidents and be able to immediately report unauthorised access to their network and information systems. This is mandated by a new Cyber Security Act transposing the European Union Directive on network and information security of 2016 in Bulgaria. Companies should plan and prepare, as meeting these new standards may require significant investments in technology and compliance, or even a complete overhaul of the ways an organisation stores and accesses proprietary or client data and maintains and protects its information technology systems.

Which businesses will have to introduce the mandatory cyber security measures?

Nowadays, no business should ignore cyber security concerns and the need to protect information technology networks and systems. Under the new Cyber Security Act, however, Bulgaria-based providers of certain essential and digital services (listed below) would be required to meet certain cyber security standards and observe other related obligations as long as those operators use network and information systems for providing the services and a cyber incident may significantly affect the provision of the services.

Those essential and digital services include:

  • Energy: electricity distributors, suppliers and transmission system operators;
  • Oil: operators of oil transmission pipelines, of oil production, refining and treatment facilities, storage and transmission facilities;
  • Gas: gas distributors, suppliers and transmission system operators, storage system operators, LNG system operators, operators of natural gas refining and treatment facilities, among others;
  • Transport: air, rail, water and road companies, including operators of intelligent transport systems;
  • Banking: credit institutions;
  • Financial market infrastructures: stock exchanges and central counterparty clearing houses;
  • Health: healthcare providers (most notably hospitals and private clinics);
  • Water: drinking water supply and distribution companies;
  • Digital infrastructure: e-commerce platforms, Internet payment gateways, social networks, search engines, cloud computing services, application stores, domain name system providers, Internet exchange point operators, as long as those digital service providers are not micro or small enterprises.

Sector-specific regulators that would be responsible for the enforcement of the cyber security rules and which are still to be determined by the Bulgarian Council of Ministers will designate the specific operators in the sectors above that undoubtedly qualify as operators of essential or digital services.

In addition, entities and organisations that provide public services (such as healthcare, water supply and sewage, electricity/heath/gas supply, postal and financial services), but do not qualify as essential or digital service providers based on the criteria above, may also have to comply with the mandatory cyber security requirements, as long as these organisations or entities provide public services online/electronically.

What minimum cyber security standards will essential and digital service providers have to meet?

Essential and digital services providers will essentially have to at least:

  • Introduce suitable internal policies, processes and control in order to ensure adequate network and information security. That means that the minimum standards go beyond merely deploying the necessary technology but accentuate on having a structured approach to compliance and prevention based on sound internal safeguards.
  • Take appropriate and proportional measures in order to manage cyber security risks and to ensure levels of network and information security that correspond to the actual risks;
  • Take appropriate measures in order to counter and mitigate the adverse effects of cyber incidents;
  • Ensure continuity of the respective essential or digital services;
  • Cooperate with law enforcement agencies, sector-specific regulators, incident management teams and third parties in order to combat cyber threats.

Further specific requirements as to the cyber security measures that essential and digital service providers will have to implement will be detailed in a bespoke ordinance of the Council of Ministers by May 2019.

Reporting obligations

Providers of essential services and of public services provided online/electronically must notify bespoke sector incident management teams of any cyber incident that may affect the continuity of the service provided. Digital services providers must notify the respective sector incident management teams only of incidents of possible significant impact on the continuity of their services.

In all cases, the initial notification must be made within two hours from establishing the incident. The service providers must provide to the sector incident management teams also further, exhaustive information regarding the incident within five business days.

Preparing such notifications swiftly while also ensuring that their content would not jeopardise or affect the service provider’s legal position (e.g. by admitting inappropriate security levels/measures, shortfalls, etc.) would be essential to navigating this regulatory requirement properly and avoid further audits by regulators and fines.

Failure to comply with the notification obligations may result in sanctions for the respective provider in the range of BGN 1,500 to BGN 25,000 (approximately EUR 767 and EUR 12,782), depending on the gravity and the frequency of the infringement.

These obligations come on top of the requirements under the General Data Protection Regulation that service providers notify the local data protection authority of data breaches (if the cyber incident involves such) and the associated risk of fines of up to 2 percent of the annual global turnover of the respective service provider.

Filtering obligations for telecom operators

Telecom operators and other internet providers will be required – in case of a cyber-attack and upon receipt of a notification from the State Agency for National Security or the General Directorate Combatting Organised Crime – to filter and suspend the transmission of the malicious traffic to the networks and information systems of the providers of essential and digital services and of public services provided online/electronically.

Audits and further intervention by the sector-specific regulators responsible for enforcement of the cyber security rules

The Cyber Security Act also determines the network of national authorities and law enforcement agencies that will be responsible for risk management, prevention, investigation and reaction in cases of cyber incidents. Notable features of this institutional system are:

  • That sector-specific regulators determined by the Council of Ministers will be responsible for the enforcement of the cyber security rules with respect to the respective business sectors set out above.
  • Those sector-specific operators will have the powers to audit the levels of network and information security at the essential and digital service providers (e.g. on the occasion of a reported cyber incident).
  • The sector-specific operators may request from the essential and digital service providers detailed information regarding the network and information security levels, the cyber security measures implemented by the operators, outcomes from audits conducted by third-party auditors, etc. Failure by service providers to meet such requests for information may result in a sanction in the range from BGN 1,500 to BGN 25,000 (approximately EUR 767 and EUR 12,782).
  • The sector-specific regulators may give to the essential and digital service providers mandatory instructions for remedying cyber security shortfalls. Failure by service providers to comply with such instructions may result in a sanction in the range of BGN 1,500 to BGN 25,000 (approximately EUR 767 and EUR 12,782).

What do these rules mean for businesses in Central and Eastern Europe?

Cyber security incidents in Central and Eastern Europe rise by approximately 20% on average annually. Operators of critical infrastructure and digital service providers are reportedly among the most targeted businesses. The Bulgarian government and law enforcement agencies have already recognised these realities and drawn action plans in the national cyber security strategies adopted over the last three years and in the mandatory minimum cyber security standards under the Act. Further, more specific cyber security requirements to be adopted in the respective follow-on secondary legislation can be expected to raise the prevention and mitigation bar further.

For operators of critical infrastructure and digital services providers in Bulgaria, the implementation of these new rules will necessitate a comprehensive review and assessment of the state of their networks and information systems, their information technology needs, and the best ways to meet them. The new requirement for “appropriate and proportional” protection will likely require increased spending on software updates. In order to be able to notify authorities of cyber incidents and data breaches swiftly and without assuming further legal risks, businesses must have tools to monitor security, establish incidents quickly, identify the data and individuals affected promptly and be able to present a coherent position to regulators and law enforcement agencies.

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
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
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
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

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 or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq 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 of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions