Transport and energy companies will have to ensure that the digital infrastructure that they use to deliver essential services, such as traffic control or electricity grid management, is robust enough to withstand cyber-attacks, under new rules provisionally agreed by internal market MEPs and the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers on Monday.
Moreover this directive marks the beginning of platform regulation
MEPs put an end to current fragmentation of 28 cybersecurity systems by listing sectors – energy, transport, banking, financial market, health and water supply – in which critical service companies will have to ensure that they are robust enough to resist cyber-attacks. These companies must also be ready to report serious security breaches to public authorities.
Member states will have to identify concrete “operators of essential services” from these sectors using certain criteria: whether the service is critical for society and the economy, whether it depends on network and information systems and whether an incident could have significant disruptive effects on its provision or public safety.
In addition, some internet services providers, such as online marketplaces (e.g. eBay, Amazon), search engines (e.g. Google) and clouds, will also have to ensure the safety of their infrastructure and to report on major incidents. Micro and small digital companies will get an exemption, the deal says.
In addition, a network of Computer Security Incidents Response Teams (CSIRTs), set up by each member state to handle incidents, will have to be established to discuss cross border security incidents and identify coordinated responses.
This does give member states a large amount of power over sectors they deign to call essential – they can burden these companies with huge administrative overhead and crush them that way, with the only recourse being the expensive EU courts.