Fortifying EV Charging Networks: Navigating the NIS2 Cybersecurity Directive with SaiFlow


The electric vehicle (EV) revolution in Europe hinges on the rapid expansion of charging infrastructure.

However, with this growth comes a new set of cybersecurity challenges that could potentially undermine the reliability and safety of EV charging networks.

Recognizing the importance of robust cybersecurity measures, the European Union has introduced the NIS2 (The Network and Information Security) directive – a comprehensive framework designed to strengthen the resilience of critical sectors, including energy and transport, against evolving cyber threats.

NIS2 Directive essential and important entities symbols

The NIS2 Directive: A Closer Look

The NIS2 directive, adopted in November 2022 and set to become applicable also on the EV charging sector in October 2024, marks a significant milestone in the EU’s cybersecurity efforts.

Building upon the original NIS directive, NIS2 expands its scope to cover essential additional entities in critical sectors.

The directive sets out strict requirements for cybersecurity risk management, incident reporting, and penalties for non-compliance, aiming to create a more resilient digital environment.

With the NIS2 directive designating EV charging infrastructure as an essential service, the cybersecurity of these networks has come into sharp focus.

This classification acknowledges the vital role of charging infrastructure in supporting the EU’s transition to cleaner mobility and subjects operators to stringent cybersecurity obligations.

As trust in the reliability and security of charging networks is paramount to driving EV adoption, ensuring the resilience of this essential service becomes a critical priority for achieving the EU’s sustainable transportation objectives.

As the effective date approaches, EV Charge Point Operators (CPOs) must familiarize themselves with the key aspects of NIS2 to ensure compliance.

Navigating NIS2 Compliance for EV Charging Operators

For CPOs, achieving compliance with the NIS2 directive requires a multi-faceted approach to cybersecurity, requiring entities to implement 10 core measures for risk management, information sharing and reporting:

  1. Policies on risk analysis and information system security
  2. Incident handling (prevention, detection, and response to incidents)
  3. Crisis management and business continuity
  4. Supply chain security
  5. Security in network and information systems (vulnerability management)
  6. Policies and procedures to assess the effectiveness of cybersecurity risk-management
  7. Basic cyber hygiene practices and cybersecurity training
  8. Policies and procedures regarding the use of cryptography and encryption
  9. Human resources security, access control policies and asset management
  10. The use of multi-factor authentication or continuous authentication solutions, secured voice, video and text communications and secured emergency communication systems within the entity, where appropriate.

CPOs must also adhere to incident reporting requirements to their designated CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team) or other national authority per these specifications:

  • Within 24 hours of detection: Known details of the incident must be communicated.
  • Within 72 hours of detection: A full notification report containing an assessment of the incident, including its severity, impact, and any indicators of compromise must be communicated.
  • Within 30 days of detection: The final report on the incident must be communicated.

Challenges of Meeting NIS2 Requirements Across EV Charging Networks

Navigating NIS2 compliance poses unique challenges for CPOs due to the distributed and interconnected nature of their networks.

Spanning multiple locations and involving various technologies, these networks present complex security considerations and vendors.

Ensuring consistent security measures across all endpoints, managing a wide array of devices and systems, and addressing potential vulnerabilities and configuration flaws introduced by third-party suppliers are just a few of the hurdles CPOs must overcome.

To effectively tackle these challenges, CPOs must adopt tailored strategies and leverage specialized cybersecurity solutions that are designed to meet the specific needs of their industry.

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SaiFlow: Enabling NIS2 Compliance for EV Charging

SaiFlow offers a comprehensive, AI-powered platform specifically designed to address the cybersecurity challenges faced by CPOs, helping them with practical NIS2 compliance safeguards, including:

  • Incident Handling: SaiFlow provides continuous cybersecurity monitoring and alerts, tailored to distributed energy and EV charging networks, defining clear incident classification and prioritization mechanism. SaiFlow’s real-time detection abilities are enriched with energy-oriented anomalies, alerting on deviations from the energy baselines of these networks.
    SaiFlow’s Investigation module, supports the incident-response processes and policies to accelerate root-cause analysis and decide on the next needed actions for mitigation, while helping to adhere to the NIS2’s reporting requirements and timelines
  • Asset Management: SaiFlow provides visibility of all the EV charging network, sites and assets, including their configurations, security attributes, models, with emphasis on energy-oriented contextual insights for each asset.
  • Security in Network and Information Systems (Vulnerability Management): SaiFlow provides real-time configuration and vulnerability management for all the network assets, with emphasis on energy-oriented devices, such as EV chargers, smart meters, battery storage units etc. SaiFlow correlates all the discovered assets with the relevant and applicable CVEs, misconfigurations, and other type of weaknesses, helping to continuously minimize the potential attack surface.
  • Risk Management: SaiFlow provides continuous risk scoring and assessments across the entire EV charging infrastructure, as CPOs must identify and evaluate potential vulnerabilities in hardware, software, network components, data privacy, supply chain, and physical security. By systematically assessing these risks, CPOs can prioritize and implement targeted mitigation measures, such as firmware updates, network segmentation, access controls, data encryption, and vendor due diligence.
  • Crisis Management and Business Continuity: SaiFlow’s platform continuously monitors every asset 24/7, alarming on energy-oriented anomalies or configuration changes that deviate from the baselines. Upon a suspicious incident, SaiFlow provides its Investigation module, with all the needed data and logs, to help connect the dots and symptoms into a cohesive  forensic picture and provide recommended playbooks for mitigation.

Moreover, SaiFlow’s seamless integration with existing security systems and its ability to adapt to the unique characteristics of each charging network ensure a tailored and efficient approach to NIS2 compliance.

As the NIS2 directive emphasizes the importance of collaboration and information-sharing, SaiFlow actively participates in cybersecurity communities and stays at the forefront of emerging threats, published vulnerabilities, and best practices.

This commitment to ongoing improvement and adaptation ensures that the SaiFlow platform remains aligned with the evolving requirements of NIS2 and provides CPOs with the most up-to-date cybersecurity solutions.

With SaiFlow as a trusted partner, operators can confidently navigate and comply with the NIS2 requirements and focus on delivering a secure and reliable charging experience to their customers.

Fortifying EV Charging Networks: The Way Forward

As the EV revolution gathers momentum, the NIS2 directive acts as a catalyst for elevating cybersecurity standards across charging networks. Compliance may seem daunting, but with the right approach and tools, operators can navigate this journey effectively.

Embracing specialized solutions like SaiFlow empowers EV charging operators to streamline compliance processes, fortify infrastructure resilience, and contribute to the success of Europe’s sustainable mobility future.

By prioritizing cybersecurity and leveraging cutting-edge technologies, operators can ensure the security and reliability of their networks in the face of evolving cyber threats.

Discover how SaiFlow can simplify your NIS2 compliance journey today.

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