Chapter II – Coordinated Cybersecurity frameworks (Art. 7-13)
Art. 7 NIS2 - National cybersecurity strategy
Art. 8 NIS2 - Competent authorities and single points of contact
Art. 9 NIS2 - National cyber crisis management frameworks
Art. 10 NIS2 - Computer security incident response teams (CSIRTs)
Art. 11 NIS2 - Requirements, technical capabilities and tasks of CSIRTs
Art. 12 NIS2 - Coordinated vulnerability disclosure and a European vulnerability database
- Each Member State shall designate one of its CSIRTs as a coordinator for the purposes of coordinated vulnerability disclosure. The CSIRT designated as coordinator shall act as a trusted intermediary, facilitating, where necessary, the interaction between the natural or legal person reporting a vulnerability and the manufacturer or provider of the potentially vulnerable ICT products or ICT services, upon the request of either party. The tasks of the CSIRT designated as coordinator shall include:
- identifying and contacting the entities concerned;
- assisting the natural or legal persons reporting a vulnerability; and
- negotiating disclosure timelines and managing vulnerabilities that affect multiple entities.
Member States shall ensure that natural or legal persons are able to report, anonymously where they so request, a vulnerability to the CSIRT designated as coordinator. The CSIRT designated as coordinator shall ensure that diligent follow-up action is carried out with regard to the reported vulnerability and shall ensure the anonymity of the natural or legal person reporting the vulnerability. Where a reported vulnerability could have a significant impact on entities in more than one Member State, the CSIRT designated as coordinator of each Member State concerned shall, where appropriate, cooperate with other CSIRTs designated as coordinators within the CSIRTs network.
- ENISA shall develop and maintain, after consulting the Cooperation Group, a European vulnerability database. To that end, ENISA shall establish and maintain the appropriate information systems, policies and procedures, and shall adopt the necessary technical and organisational measures to ensure the security and integrity of the European vulnerability database, with a view in particular to enabling entities, regardless of whether they fall within the scope of this Directive, and their suppliers of network and information systems, to disclose and register, on a voluntary basis, publicly known vulnerabilities in ICT products or ICT services. All stakeholders shall be provided access to the information about the vulnerabilities contained in the European vulnerability database. That database shall include:
- information describing the vulnerability;
- the affected ICT products or ICT services and the severity of the vulnerability in terms of the circumstances under which it may be exploited;
- the availability of related patches and, in the absence of available patches, guidance provided by the competent authorities or the CSIRTs addressed to users of vulnerable ICT products and ICT services as to how the risks resulting from disclosed vulnerabilities can be mitigated.
The growing interdependencies are the result of an increasingly cross-border and interdependent network of service provision using key infrastructures across the Union in sectors such as energy, transport, digital infrastructure, drinking water and waste water, health, certain aspects of public administration, as well as space in so far as the provision of certain services depending on ground-based infrastructures that are owned, managed and operated either by Member States or by private parties is concerned, therefore not covering infrastructures owned, managed or operated by or on behalf of the Union as part of its space programme. Those interdependencies mean that any disruption, even one initially confined to one entity or one sector, can have cascading effects more broadly, potentially resulting in far-reaching and long-lasting negative impacts in the delivery of services across the internal market. The intensified cyberattacks during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown the vulnerability of increasingly interdependent societies in the face of low-probability risks.
Since the exploitation of vulnerabilities in network and information systems may cause significant disruption and harm, swiftly identifying and remedying such vulnerabilities is an important factor in reducing risk. Entities that develop or administer network and information systems should therefore establish appropriate procedures to handle vulnerabilities when they are discovered. Since vulnerabilities are often discovered and disclosed by third parties, the manufacturer or provider of ICT products or ICT services should also put in place the necessary procedures to receive vulnerability information from third parties. In that regard, international standards ISO/IEC 30111 and ISO/IEC 29147 provide guidance on vulnerability handling and vulnerability disclosure. Strengthening the coordination between reporting natural and legal persons and manufacturers or providers of ICT products or ICT services is particularly important for the purpose of facilitating the voluntary framework of vulnerability disclosure. Coordinated vulnerability disclosure specifies a structured process through which vulnerabilities are reported to the manufacturer or provider of the potentially vulnerable ICT products or ICT services in a manner allowing it to diagnose and remedy the vulnerability before detailed vulnerability information is disclosed to third parties or to the public. Coordinated vulnerability disclosure should also include coordination between the reporting natural or legal person and the manufacturer or provider of the potentially vulnerable ICT products or ICT services as regards the timing of remediation and publication of vulnerabilities.
The Commission, ENISA and the Member States should continue to foster alignments with international standards and existing industry best practices in the area of cybersecurity risk management, for example in the areas of supply chain security assessments, information sharing and vulnerability disclosure.
Member States should designate one of its CSIRTs as a coordinator, acting as a trusted intermediary between the reporting natural or legal persons and the manufacturers or providers of ICT products or ICT services, which are likely to be affected by the vulnerability, where necessary. The tasks of the CSIRT designated as coordinator should include identifying and contacting the entities concerned, assisting the natural or legal persons reporting a vulnerability, negotiating disclosure timelines and managing vulnerabilities that affect multiple entities (multi-party coordinated vulnerability disclosure). Where the reported vulnerability could have significant impact on entities in more than one Member State, the CSIRTs designated as coordinators should cooperate within the CSIRTs network, where appropriate.
Access to correct and timely information about vulnerabilities affecting ICT products and ICT services contributes to an enhanced cybersecurity risk management. Sources of publicly available information about vulnerabilities are an important tool for the entities and for the users of their services, but also for the competent authorities and the CSIRTs. For that reason, ENISA should establish a European vulnerability database where entities, regardless of whether they fall within the scope of this Directive, and their suppliers of network and information systems, as well as the competent authorities and the CSIRTs, can disclose and register, on a voluntary basis, publicly known vulnerabilities for the purpose of allowing users to take appropriate mitigating measures. The aim of that database is to address the unique challenges posed by risks to Union entities. Furthermore, ENISA should establish an appropriate procedure regarding the publication process in order to give entities the time to take mitigating measures as regards their vulnerabilities and employ state-of-the-art cybersecurity risk-management measures as well as machine-readable datasets and corresponding interfaces. To encourage a culture of disclosure of vulnerabilities, disclosure should have no detrimental effects on the reporting natural or legal person.
Although similar vulnerability registries or databases exist, they are hosted and maintained by entities which are not established in the Union. A European vulnerability database maintained by ENISA would provide improved transparency regarding the publication process before the vulnerability is publicly disclosed, and resilience in the event of a disruption or an interruption of the provision of similar services. In order, to the extent possible, to avoid a duplication of efforts and to seek complementarity, ENISA should explore the possibility of entering into structured cooperation agreements with similar registries or databases that fall under third-country jurisdiction. In particular, ENISA should explore the possibility of close cooperation with the operators of the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) system.