Post-Brexit UK may still need to adhere to EU cyber rules

Post-Brexit UK may still need to adhere to EU cyber rules

Brexit has caused some uncertainty among businesses in the UK, but early suggestions are that they may be forced to comply with the new EU cyber security rules.

The Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive ranks as the very first EU cyber security rule. Its purpose is to reach a high standard of security information and network systems for security across Europe.

The plan is to improve cyber capabilities nationwide, increasing co-operation from the EU and introducing incident reporting and risk management obligation for digital and essential services.

Organisations in these sectors, operating in the EU, will be forced to adhere to updated technical requirements, likely to be in place in August next year. It is as yet unclear, however, how far these rules will apply to businesses in the UK following the country’s decision to leave the EU.

Conor Ward, from law firm Hogan Lovells, believes that all providers of digital services will be affected by the obligation to submit a report after a security breach.

He said:

“They will need to appoint a representative in a member state and the digital service provider will be under the jurisdiction of the member state where the representative is established. This will at least give the service provider some opportunity to ‘forum shop’ or elect to be supervised in the most favourable jurisdiction.”

Firms in the UK, especially those in the digital services sector, would be well advised to monitor this story. Any business today should have at least one member of staff who is cyber savvy so that they have someone on board who can not only file necessary reports, but also help to prevent a breach in the first place. That’s why creating cyber security jobs is so important in the current climate.

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