For new threat landscape detection, trust Elementrica solutions



Boost cyber resilience with our comprehensive services for a secure digital future.



At Elementrica, our people are at the heart of everything we do. Our expertise, dedication, and passion for cyber security drive us to deliver innovative solutions to protect our clients' digital assets.



At Elementrica, our people are at the heart of everything we do. Our expertise, dedication, and passion for cyber security drive us to deliver innovative solutions to protect our clients' digital assets.

Everything you need to know about the NIS 2 Directive and Penetration Testing


Today we will focus on a key element of Europe’s cyber security strategy – the NIS 2 Directive, as an updated version of its predecessor, aims to strengthen the European Union’s digital resilience by establishing more stringent security requirements for key digital sectors and services. In this context, penetration testing – that is, organized and deliberate attempts to find and exploit vulnerabilities in information systems – takes on a new meaning. They are not only a security assessment tool, but also a requirement that will help organizations in the EU meet new regulations and secure their operations against cyber attacks.

The importance of penetration testing in the context of NIS 2 is multidimensional. They not only identify potential vulnerabilities in the digital infrastructure, but also provide a realistic assessment of an organization’s readiness for cyber incidents. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at how the NIS 2 directive affects the cybersecurity landscape in Europe, who will need to comply with the new regulations, and how organizations should prepare to conduct and manage penetration testing to ensure compliance.

We will also analyze how these changes will affect different sectors, what challenges organizations may face in adapting to the new requirements, and how best practices and standards can help effectively manage cyber risks. Our goal is not only to provide a comprehensive overview of the NIS 2 directive and its impact on penetration testing, but also to equip you, our readers, with the knowledge and tools necessary to understand and adapt to these important changes in the European cyber security ecosystem.

What is NIS 2?

The NIS 2 directive is an updated version of the first European directive on the security of networks and information systems. It aims to strengthen cybersecurity across the European Union by establishing consistent cyber security requirements for key economic sectors.

Who will NIS 2 cover?

The NIS 2 Directive, as a successor and extension of its predecessor, aims to counter growing cyber threats by introducing more stringent security requirements in key sectors of the European economy. This ambitious undertaking is huge in scope, and its impact will affect a broad spectrum of industries, greatly expanding the list of entities that must comply with the new regulations. Here are the industries that will be covered by NIS 2:

  • Energy: The energy sector, including suppliers of electricity, gas and heat, plays a key role in the functioning of society. As a result, it is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, which can have catastrophic consequences.
  • Transportation: Air, sea, rail and road transportation are veins of economic and social life that must be protected from disruption caused by cyber threats.
  • Banking and financial sector: Financial institutions, including banks and financial markets, are constantly on the target of cybercriminals, making them one of the main targets of NIS 2 requirements.
  • Critical infrastructure: In addition to the energy sector, critical infrastructure includes the water supply, health, digital critical infrastructure and digital service providers such as cloud computing, data centers and data exchange platforms.
  • Public Health: Hospitals, research laboratories and other healthcare institutions must ensure a high level of information security to protect patient data and ensure continuity of medical care.
  • Digital service providers: Online platforms, social networks, e-commerce services and other key digital services are also subject to the directive, reflecting their growing role in everyday life and the economy.
  • Public sector: Public administrations, including state and local government bodies, must also comply with the directive to protect citizens’ data and critical infrastructure.
  • Water: Water and wastewater service providers, water resource management and other water-related aspects are also recognized as critical to national security and public health.

The NIS 2 directive aims to ensure that these sectors are better able to counter, respond to and recover from cyber attacks, which is critical to keeping society and the economy functioning. The changes introduced by NIS 2 require these organizations not only to implement cyber hygiene policies, but also to conduct regular penetration tests to assess the effectiveness of implemented security measures and respond quickly to identified vulnerabilities.

When does NIS 2 come into effect?

Poland, like other European Union member states, has until October 17, 2024 to implement the NIS 2 directive into its national law. As of this date, the new regulations will apply to all EU countries. The NIS 2 directive introduces significant changes to cyber security, expanding the catalog of entities covered by additional obligations. The amendment covers not only industries subject to the previous version of the directive, but also many new sectors, including public administration, water and wastewater management, providers of public networks or electronic communication services, social networks and data centers, space, food production, courier services and postal services, as well as the pharmaceutical, medical and chemical industries.

All of these sectors will have to adapt to the new regulations, which may require the introduction of appropriate legal, technical and organizational measures to increase the overall standard of cybersecurity. This is in response to growing cyber threats and a changing digital landscape, which prompted the EU to update and expand the scope of the NIS Directive.

Organizations in Poland, as in other EU countries, should start preparing now to implement the requirements of the NIS 2 directive to ensure compliance with the new regulations before a certain date.

What does the NIS 2 directive change?

The NIS 2 Directive introduces fundamental changes in the European approach to cyber security, aimed at increasing resilience to cyber attacks and improving incident preparedness in key economic sectors and public administration. Here are some of the major changes and their significance:

Expanding the scope of sectors covered: the directive expands the list of sectors considered critical to include new industries such as digital service providers, the health sector, food production or public service providers. This includes smaller organizations that can affect the continuity of key services. This change means that more organizations than ever before will have to comply with stricter security and incident reporting regulations.

Increased requirements for cyber risk management and incident reporting: Organizations will have to implement more comprehensive risk management measures and incident response procedures, which includes both prevention and minimizing the impact of cyber attacks. This requires organizations to plan and prepare more thoroughly for cyber attacks, including regular security tests, audits and risk assessments.

Greater powers for national supervisory authorities: Supervisory authorities have been given broader powers to enforce the directive, including the ability to impose financial sanctions on organizations that fail to comply with NIS 2 requirements. This increases the pressure on organizations to prioritize cybersecurity and follow industry best practices.

Facilitating cooperation among member states: NIS 2 places a strong emphasis on cross-border cooperation among EU member states in sharing threat and incident information. It aims to better leverage resources and knowledge across the EU to combat cyber threats.

Increasing transparency and awareness: The directive requires organizations to inform stakeholders and the public about cyber threats and incidents, with the goal of not only increasing transparency, but also raising overall awareness of cyber security.

The changes made to the NIS 2 directive are key to increasing the level of cybersecurity in the European Union. They require organizations to strengthen their cybersecurity strategies in response to growing threats in the digital space.

The NIS 2 directive significantly raises the bar on cybersecurity requirements for a broad spectrum of sectors in the European Union. One of the key elements of these requirements is the obligation to conduct regular penetration tests. These tests are essential for identifying and repairing security vulnerabilities in IT systems and networks, which is fundamental to ensuring a high level of digital security.

Sectors under increased scrutiny

In particular, the directive emphasizes the importance of penetration testing for sectors considered crucial to the functioning of society and the economy, such as:

Financial sector: Banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions are constantly on the target of cybercriminals because of the valuable data and financial resources they manage. Regular penetration testing in this sector is essential to detect potential vulnerabilities before attacks.

Energy: Energy infrastructure is critical to every country. Penetration testing helps identify security vulnerabilities in industrial control systems (SCADA) that can be used to disrupt energy supply.

Transportation: From air traffic management systems to maritime navigation systems, digital security in transportation is critical to safety and business continuity. Penetration testing makes it possible to assess the resilience of these systems against cyber attacks.

Digital service providers: Technology companies offering cloud services, e-commerce platforms, and other digital services need to regularly test their systems to ensure user data security and service continuity.

Increased Requirements

The NIS 2 directive requires that organizations not only conduct penetration testing, but that it be done in a systematic manner and in accordance with recognized industry standards. These tests should be conducted regularly and after any significant change in systems or infrastructure. The goal is not only to identify vulnerabilities, but also to verify the effectiveness of risk management measures and defense mechanisms.

Standards and methodologies:

The directive does not specify specific standards or methodologies for penetration testing, but organizations are expected to follow industry best practices. ISO/IEC 27001, OWASP and PTES are examples of recognized frameworks that can be used.

Frequency of testing:

NIS 2 does not specify a minimum frequency for penetration testing, leaving organizations with a degree of flexibility. However, it is recommended that testing be done regularly, at least once a year, or after any significant change in systems.

Reporting and Response:

Organizations are required to report significant vulnerabilities discovered during penetration testing to the relevant national supervisory authorities. It is also necessary to develop and implement


The implementation of NIS 2 is a challenge for many organizations, but also an opportunity to increase their resilience to growing cyber threats. Penetration testing, as an integral part of a security strategy, plays a key role in ensuring that organizations can effectively protect their digital assets and the business continuity of critical services. Organizations must therefore approach this responsibility strategically, using best practices and industry standards to meet the directive’s requirements and ensure safety at the highest level.


Our team is ready to help

Give us a call or leave us a message. We look forward to hearing about your cyber security project, network challenges and any other queries you would like help with.
Get in touch