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An overview of the cybersecurity laws in the EU


In our current post-pandemic world, most businesses and organizations have altered their choices by moving towards remote work and digital access to services. With such change, they have also invited threats of data breaches and cyber-attacks. A firm’s virtual infrastructure classifies its performance, it is also a contributing factor when hackers try to breach their privacy. Vulnerabilities in infrastructure makes it easy for hackers to access data.


With each passing day, the cyberattacks carried out by these hackers are becoming more advanced and sophisticated, increasing the risk of a serious data breach. Therefore, it has become imperative for organizations to understand the legal nuances of cybersecurity laws. With limited knowledge of cybersecurity standards, different businesses and organizations might end up with a subpar cybersecurity infrastructure that doesn’t comply with federal laws.


Cyber laws, more commonly known as internet laws, are laws that are related to legal informatics, regulating the digital distribution of information, e-commerce, software, and information security. It usually covers many related areas, such as usage and access to the Internet, freedom of speech, and privacy.


Importance of Cybercrime Laws

Many security and privacy issues arise with the use of the internet. Ingenious criminals have been known to use advanced strategies to carry out unauthorized activities and potential fraud. Therefore, the need to protect against them is substantial, and the most effective method of doing so is by introducing a cyber security policy. Cybersecurity policies and laws are made to protect individuals and businesses online by holding these criminals accountable for their malicious actions and sentencing them to appropriate punishment as decided by the federal government.


Cyber laws are integral to the use of the internet and serve a variety of purposes. Most of these laws are there to protect users from becoming victims of cybercrimes, while others are made to regulate the usage of the internet and computers in general. Generally, Cyber laws cover three primary areas:


  1. Fraud: Cyber laws protect users from falling victim to online fraud. They exist to prevent crimes such as credit card and identity theft. These laws also declare federal and state criminal charges for anyone that attempts to commit such fraud.

  2. Copyright: Cyber laws also prevent copyright infringement and enforce copyright protection. They provide individuals and businesses with the right to protect their creative works and to profit from them.

  3. Defamation: Cyber laws are also enforced in online defamation cases, which provide individuals and businesses protection against false allegations made online that can be harmful to their reputations.

An overview of the cybersecurity laws in the European Union


The four major regulations within the European Union regarding cybersecurity includes ENISA, the NIS Directive, EU Cybersecurity Act, and the EU GDPR. The same have been briefly discussed below.


  1. European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA): ENISA is a governing agency that was set up for the purpose of raising network and information security across all internetwork operations of the EU. It was established back in 2004, serving 3 major purposes:

  • The recommended course of action following a security breach

  • Making policies and support for their implementation

  • Direct support

  1. NIS Directive: In 2016, the European Parliament set into policy the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Directive with the aim to generally improve cybersecurity across all networks of the EU. It focused mainly on digital service providers (DSPs) and operators of essential services (OESs). OESs are organizations that are involved in critical societal or economic activities and will be severely affected by security or data breaches.

  2. EU Cybersecurity Act: The EU Cybersecurity Act provides a certification framework for companies across the EU regarding cybersecurity for digital products, services, and processes.

  3. EU GDPR: EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was established in 2016 but wasn’t enforced until May 2018. The EU GDPR aims to bring a single standard for data protection among all member states in the EU.

With cyberspace expanding, we can expect new laws being reinforced. We can even expect various trends in the cybersecurity sector, such as the growing awareness of online privacy by the public, introduction of Cloud Computing, and laws enacting the same, laws facilitating safe banking and transactions in relation to cryptocurrencies.

 

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