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Doing Business with the European Union

The European Union (EU) has made Cybersecurity a top priority and those conducting business with the association should be aware of its potential impact on them.

On May 9, 2018, all 28 EU member states will implement the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS Directive) in hopes of "achieving a high, common level of network and information systems security across the EU." Effectively, this means those involved with conducting business with the EU in the following sectors must prove that they have established top Cybersecurity protocols, including a policy to immediately report breaches in data:

  • Energy: electricity, oil, gas
  • Transport: air, rail, road, maritime
  • Banking
  • Financial market infrastructure
  • Health
  • Water Supply
  • Digital infrastructure (IXP’s, DNS service providers, TLD name registries)
  • Online service providers
  • Online marketplaces
  • Online search engines
  • Cloud computing services

The scope of this law drastically exceeds any reporting guidelines and/or best practices currently in place in the US, including the New York Cybersecurity law applicable to financial institutions conducting business in Empire state. Clearly, many US companies currently fall short of the Cybersecurity enforcement being implemented by the EU.

If you conduct business in one of the 28 EU countries or plan to do so in the future, please contact Steve Franckhauser at for details on the law and its stringent compliance measures.

About the Author(s)

Steven Franckhauser, JD, is a Senior Director working out of the Columbus, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania offices of HBK. A 2013 recipient of the “Who’s Who in Energy” by the Pittsburgh Business Times, Mr. Franckhauser earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from Duquesne University and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree from The Ohio State University. He joined HBK in 2011 and works with both the Cybersecurity and Energy divisions of the firm. Mr. Franckhauser is an adjunct Professor of Law at the Duquesne University School of Law, contributes to the Penn State Extension programs on Shale development, is an adjunct Professor at Penn State University's Beaver campus in Monaca, Penn., and has been a guest lecturer on shale energy and renewable energy at The Ohio State University Fisher School of Business and the School of Arts and Sciences. He serves on various industry-related boards, and is a frequent lecturer and speaker on the economic development and opportunities provided by shale energy, as well as on topics related to the importance of Cybersecurity on businesses.

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