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NIS2 Compliance: Top 5 Reasons for the Manufacturing Sector

The manufacturing sector has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, driven by rapid digitalization. Technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), automation, and cloud computing have revolutionized manufacturing processes, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.

However, this digital evolution has also made the sector a prime target for recent cyber attacks. According to a 2022 report by IBM, the manufacturing industry was the most targeted sector for cyber attacks, accounting for nearly 23% of all incidents. This highlights the urgent need for robust cyber security measures.

In response to these growing threats, the European Union has introduced the NIS2 Directive, which imposes stringent cyber security obligations on essential service operators, including those in the manufacturing sector. Compliance with NIS2 is crucial for protecting critical infrastructure, securing supply chains, and safeguarding valuable intellectual property. In this blog post, we will introduce you to the top 5 reasons for the manufacturing sector to comply with NIS2.

Related resourceNIS2 ready with ISO 27001 best practices (ebook)

Is our organization part of NIS2's manufacturing scope?

Firstly, please note that we cannot definitively determine your inclusion in the NIS2 target group. However, this section aims to provide you with a clearer picture of whether your manufacturing business might be directly impacted by NIS2. For precise guidelines, we recommend referring to the official Article from EUR-Lex under "ANNEX II: OTHER CRITICAL SECTORS".  As seen in Annex II, the NIS2 directive includes specific manufacturing sectors under its cyber security requirements:

  1. Medical devices: Includes manufacturers of medical and in vitro diagnostic devices, excluding certain specialized devices.
  2. Computers, electronics, and optical products: Covers companies making products like computers and optical instruments.
  3. Electrical equipment: Involves manufacturers of electrical machinery and equipment.
  4. Machinery and equipment: Includes firms producing general machinery and equipment.
  5. Motor vehicles and trailers: Encompasses manufacturers of cars, trailers, and semi-trailers.
  6. Other transport equipment: Covers the production of other transport-related equipment.

The NIS2 directive specifically targets the manufacturing sectors listed above. However, it may also include other manufacturing entities if they engage in activities deemed essential for societal and economic functions and if they are classified under the relevant sections of the NACE Rev. 2 classification system.

1. Protection of Critical Infrastructure

Manufacturing facilities are seen as vital infrastructure due to their crucial role in the economy and daily life. Enhancing cyber security by imposing stringent obligations on essential service operators is therefore crucial when safeguarding these critical assets. According to a recent study, 80% of manufacturing companies have experienced at least one cyber security incident, emphasizing the urgent need for robust protective measures. The goal is to prevent severe disruptions to manufacturing operations, thereby ensuring continuous production and avoiding significant financial and reputational damage.

Moreover, manufacturing facilities are not just production hubs, they are vital to the supply chain, affecting countless businesses and consumers. Imagine the huge effect a cyber attack on a major automotive manufacturer could have—not just on car production but on parts suppliers, dealerships, and even customers waiting for their cars. This inter-connectivity highlights the necessity for higher security demands. Additionally, many manufacturing processes are tightly bound to just-in-time (JIT) production methodologies, where the slightest disruption can lead to cascading delays and lost revenue.

Beyond production continuity, compliance with NIS2 mandates also paves the way for innovation in cyber defense. Implementing these measures encourages the adoption of policies and procedures to mitigate all kind do cyber security related risks. The increased resilience also facilitates trust, not only within the organization but with external partners and stakeholders who rely on the robustness of the manufacturer's operations.

Furthermore, robust cyber security practices under NIS2 contribute to a secure industrial environment by establishing a framework of preparedness. Proactive measures not only protect the physical and digital assets but also ensure compliance with international standards such as ISO 27001, which further boosts the organization's credibility and trustworthiness.

2. Improve Supply Chain Security

Manufacturers rely on complex supply chains, making supply chain security a top priority. NIS2 therefore demands certain measures  to ensure that all players within the supply chain have robust cyber security measures, thereby reducing vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cyber criminals. According to a recent study, 70% of organizations experienced some form of supply chain attack in the past year, highlighting the critical need for these enhanced security protocols. Furthermore, the interconnected nature of modern supply chains means that a breach in one segment can have a snowball-kind of effect, potentially disrupting production, delaying deliveries, and affecting customer satisfaction.

Implementing NIS2 can significantly mitigate these risks.  A secure supply chain also enhances trust among partners, clients, and consumers, as they can be confident in the protection of their data and the reliability of services.  By safeguarding the supply chain, manufacturers can better protect their operations, maintain business continuity, and bolster overall resilience. Producers can avoid the high costs associated with supply chain disruptions and cyber incidents, making their operations more stable and efficient. Ultimately, this helps in maintaining a competitive edge in the market.

Moreover, NIS2's focus on supply chain security underscores the importance of shared responsibility. It is not enough for a single manufacturer to secure its systems - every participant in the supply chain must participate in the cyber security efforts. This collective approach helps to create a secure ecosystem, minimizing potential entry points for attackers.

3. Ensure Continuity while Increasing Digitalization

The era of digitalization has transformed the manufacturing sector through the integration of, for example, IoT, automation, and cloud computing. While these advancements boost efficiency and productivity by streamlining operations and enabling real-time data analytics, they also introduce heightened cyber security risks. According to a recent study, nearly 75% of manufacturers have seen an increase incyber threats over the past few years. Compliance with NIS2 mandates robust cyber security measures and incident response capabilities, ensuring that these innovations do not compromise the sector's security.

Additionally, the implementation of digital tools has led to an expanded attack surface in manufacturing networks. As more devices are interconnected, the risk of a single compromised device affecting the entire production line increases exponentially. Adopting NIS2 compliance standards means addressing vulnerabilities across all digital touchpoints, from the factory floor to cloud-based services.

Furthermore, NIS2 compliance involves regular security assessments and vulnerability management practices, which are essential in a highly digitalized environment. By continuously monitoring and updating security protocols, manufacturers can stay ahead of potential threats, thereby avoiding costly downtimes and maintaining uninterrupted production flows.

In a nutshell, as the manufacturing sector continues to evolve with digitalization, complying with NIS2 offers a dual benefit: taking advantage of the efficiencies of advanced technologies while also strenghtening cyber defenses. This balance is crucial for sustaining growth and innovation without sacrificing security.

4. Protection of Intellectual Property

Manufacturing holds valuable intellectual property (IP), which is often the cornerstone of a company’s competitive advantage. Unfortunately, cyber attacks pose a significant threat to the integrity and confidentiality of this IP. Unauthorized access to exclusive or confidential information, design secrets, or innovation blueprints can cripple a company's market position and damage its future prospects.

By promoting robust cyber security practices, manufacturers can safeguard their intellectual assets against breaches and espionage. For instance, implementing measures such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and advanced intrusion detection systems can create a fortified barrier against potential attackers. Employee training on recognizing phishing attempts and other social engineering tactics is equally crucial in creating a secure environment.

As Peter Tran, a cyber security expert, once said, “In the digital age, IP theft is not just a loss of product designs but a potential existential threat to companies.” This statement underscores the high stakes involved in protecting IP within the manufacturing sector.

5. Regulatory Compliance

Last but not least, I would like to point out the "obvious" part: regulatory compliance. Regulatory compliance under NIS2 is crucial, particularly for essential and important entities within the manufacturing sector. Non-compliance can result in substantial penalties, potentially up to 10 million euros or 2% of annual revenue, and can severely damage an organization's reputation. Aside from the financial impact, failure to adhere to NIS2 standards may lead to strict supervisory actions and heightened scrutiny from regulatory bodies.

The compliance obligations include ongoing monitoring, incident reporting, and the establishment of concrete IT risk management policies. These measures are designed to ensure that businesses are not only protected against cyber threats but are also well-prepared to respond efficiently to any incidents, thereby enhancing overall security and operational resilience. For instance, organizations must implement practices such as risk analysis, incident response planning, and regular cyber security training for employees to keep up with evolving threats.

Compliance does not only help avoid penalties but also has secondary benefits. By aligning with NIS2 standards, organizations can improve their overall cyber security posture, gaining a competitive edge and creating trust among stakeholders. Additionally, this compliance can facilitate smoother interactions with partners and clients, as they will feel more secure in collaborating with a business that has a certain cyber security level.


In conclusion, compliance with NIS2 is not just a regulatory obligation but a strategic necessity for manufacturers. By adhering to these guidelines, manufacturers can ensure the protection of their critical infrastructure, which is essential for maintaining operational continuity and preventing severe disruptions. This crucial compliance measure extends beyond immediate benefits, incorporating a broader framework for enhanced cyber security and operational resilience. With the increasing trend towards digitalization, manufacturers face a rapidly evolving threat landscape, that requires robust security measures, including risk management and incident response capabilities.

Moreover, strengthening supply chain security helps manufacturers minimize risks associated with third-party suppliers and maintain the integrity of their operations. Protecting intellectual property is another critical outcome, safeguarding valuable assets that are integral to competitive advantage and innovation. Fostering a culture of cyber security not only helps in regulatory compliance but also bolsters trust and reputation among customers, partners, and stakeholders.

Adopting NIS2 best practices, such as implementing zero trust principles, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and continuous employee education, can significantly reduce the risk of cyber incidents. Additionally, automation and innovation opportunities that arise from a secure digital infrastructure position manufacturers to thrive in a competitive market, ensuring long-term success and sustainability.

If you are interested in working towards NIS2 compliance, using a tool to boost your efficiency and save resources, please feel free to open a free trial for Cyberday.  Cyberday is an excellent resource for achieving NIS2 compliance, incorporating ISO 27001 best practices to enhance and simplify your cyber security efforts.


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