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NIS versus NIS2: Spot the Differences Easily

  • What is the difference between NIS and NIS2?
  • Published by: André Hammer on Feb 07, 2024

A lot of people confuse NIS and NIS2, but there is a lot that sets them apart. In this article, we are going to explain to you what those differences are so that it is easier for you to tell them apart. So, whether you're in cybersecurity or are just interested in knowing something about the digital space, this article will help you.

Origin and history of the NIS Directive

The NIS Directive came into effect about 8 years ago. It was developed to help protect critical infrastructure sectors and key digital service providers such as energy, transportation, banking, financial market infrastructures. Others include health, water supply, and digital infrastructure sectors.

In addition, EU member states also have to implement a national strategy on the security of network and information systems. Alongside this, the members need to create an authority whose job will be to monitor and enforce NIS.

NIS2 has also emerged, and this is due to increasing cybersecurity threats. Its job is to improve the security of network and information systems across the EU. The scope of NIS2 is much wider and includes internet exchange points, domain name system service providers, and online marketplaces.

The other element the NIS2 has brought with it is additional security and incident reporting obligations for all types of digital service providers and platforms. This is a reflection of the changing nature of cyber threats as well as the importance of tight cybersecurity measures.

Understanding the Enhanced Security Requirements

NIS Directive security requirements

The NIS Directive’s main focus is resilience and the security operators of essential services and digital service providers. The directive requires you to adopt measures that can help you manage risks, prevent and minimize the impact of cybersecurity incidents. Under this directive, it’s mandatory that you report incidents and cooperate with authorities.

Your organization should run a thorough review of its current security practices in preparation for the transition from NIS to NIS2. That means enhancing your incident response capabilities, implementing stronger cybersecurity measures, and ensuring that you are complying the security requirements of the NIS2 Directive .

Incident Reporting under NIS and NIS2

The NIS incident reporting framework is designed to help you report and respond to cybersecurity incidents effectively. It has detailed guidelines that define what an incident is, applicable reporting timelines, and what to do when reporting an incident.

NIS2 has greatly revised timelines and the threshold for incident reporting to provide a more comprehensive overview of cybersecurity incidents. The main difference between NIS and NIS2 comes in the way you are required to incidences. There are differences in the types of incidents to report, thresholds, and deadlines. This difference ensures that whichever directive you implement, it is easy to adapt to new threats as timely as possible.

What are the Penalties for Non-compliance?

Under the NIS directive, the fine for non-compliance amounted to €100,000. In addition to fines, sanctions were also part of the punishment and they included warnings, temporary bans on certain activities, and exposing the infringement publicly.

The fines for non-compliance have gone up under NIS2 to up to €20 million or up to 4 percent of an operator's yearly turnover. NIS2 has also made it a requirement to implement structural changes leading to the creation of a national strategy for the security of network and information systems.

To enforce these sanctions and fines, the directive requires each member state to appoint one or more national competent authorities responsible for enforcing the directive. There must also be effective mechanisms in place to promote sharing of information and cooperation among regulatory authorities.

Prepare for the Transition from NIS 1 to NIS2

NIS2's compliance deadlines vary depending on the type of organization. For instance, operators of essential services must comply within 18 months, while digital service providers have 24 months. In contrast, the original NIS directive had a uniform deadline of 21 months for all organizations.

These differing deadlines show the increasing importance of cybersecurity in the UK and recognize the varying levels of digital infrastructure and services across organizations.

Proactive approach to meet NIS2 requirements

To ensure a smooth transition from NIS to NIS2, organizations should develop robust incident response plans and ensure staff are well-trained in cybersecurity best practices. Creating a security culture involves ongoing staff training, awareness programs, clear cybersecurity policies, and appointing dedicated security personnel.

Promoting a Culture of Security within Organizations

To promote a culture of security, affected organizations should establish comprehensive security policies. They should also conduct regular security assessments and provide adequate training for their employees.

Moreover, they should implement robust security measures like encryption, multi-factor authentication, and continuous monitoring. These measures will safeguard their infrastructure and customer data against cyber threats.

Managing Assets and Services under NIS2

Organizations are required to identify their assets and critical services under the NIS directive. This means that each organization has to perform risk assessments and implement security measures.

When you measure a risk assessment, it tells you the potential impact of security incidents on your operations and services. For example, they identify key IT systems, networks, data, and critical business processes that must be protected.

The NIS2 directive employs tougher security measures such as encryption, access controls, and regular security audits. The purpose of this is to offer essential digital services the highest level of security.

You can also integrate firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and multi-factor authentication to keep your digital infrastructure safe. It’s also possible to establish an incident response plan and provide your employee regular training to minimize cybersecurity risks.

Protection of essential and digital services under NIS2

NIS2 expands the scope of NIS and features additional digital service providers such as online marketplaces and search engines. This means a wider range of companies across different industries must implement cybersecurity requirements.

NIS2 also provides for timelines and thresholds within which to report incidences for digital services. For instance, providers are now required to report all incidents within 72 hours, and not 24 hours as was the case in the original NIS directive.


NIS and NIS2 are two versions of Nissan's Information System that the company uses in their vehicles. the two directives have a lot of similarities, and differences as well. Knowing these differences can help you understand your vehicle’s system and its features.

Readynez offers a 4-day NIS 2 Directive Lead Implementer Course and Certification Program, providing you with all the learning and support you need to successfully prepare for the exam and certification. The NIS 2 Lead Implementer course, and all our other Security courses, are also included in our unique Unlimited Security Training offer, where you can attend the NIS 2 Lead Implementer and 60+ other Security courses for just €249 per month, the most flexible and affordable way to get your Security Certifications.

Please reach out to us with any questions or if you would like a chat about your opportunity with the NIS 2 Lead Implementer certification and how you best achieve it. 


What are the main differences between NIS and NIS2?

The main differences between NIS and NIS2 are the improved data protection measures and updated authentication mechanisms in NIS2. For example, NIS2 requires stronger authentication methods such as biometric or hardware tokens.

How can I easily distinguish between NIS and NIS2?

NIS uses a broadcast-based communication model, while NIS2 uses a client-server model. For example, NIS2 includes improved security features such as encryption and supports larger network sizes.

What are the key features that set NIS apart from NIS2?

NIS2 includes additional security measures like multi-factor authentication and blockchain technology, while NIS focuses on real-time network monitoring and proactive threat detection.

Are there any compatibility issues between NIS and NIS2?

No, there are no compatibility issues between NIS and NIS2. They are designed to work together seamlessly.

How can I make the transition from NIS to NIS2 seamlessly?

To transition seamlessly from NIS to NIS2, carefully plan and schedule the migration process, update all necessary software and hardware, conduct thorough testing, and provide comprehensive training to users. Additionally, consult with experts and refer to official documentation for guidance.

Two people monitoring systems for security breaches

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