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NIS2: Channel partners' potential to help end-users navigate new rules

The vast majority (93%) of channel partners see the EU’s NIS2 cybersecurity directive as an opportunity to assist end-users and grow revenues in the process but acknowledge they must first build their understanding, according to new research.

Westcon-Comstor, a global technology provider and specialist distributor, surveyed registered attendees for its forthcoming NIS2 webinar for partners and found that 77 per cent believe the new rules, which come into force later this year, offer the potential to build recurring revenues through the provision of services and managed services.

A similarly high proportion (74%) believe NIS2 will present opportunities to drive product sales, with 51 per cent eyeing increased revenues from education and enablement.

Nearly two-thirds of partners (60%) believe NIS2 will have a major impact on end-user businesses, with around half (47%) believing that their customers are unprepared for the directive.

At the same time, partners acknowledge that they need to get to grips with NIS2, with only 5 per cent rating their understanding and awareness of the directive as good.

NIS2, which stands for Network and Information Systems Security Directive 2, is being introduced in October and will affect more than 100,000 organisations. It creates stricter requirements and obligations around risk management, corporate accountability, reporting obligations, and business continuity, as set out in Westcon-Comstor’s guide to NIS2 for partners.

The directive outlines a variety of requirements for basic cyber hygiene and highlights the need for in-scope organisations to adopt zero-trust principles.

Like GDPR, NIS2 will have ramifications beyond the EU’s borders, as it will in some way impact all entities that provide ‘essential or important services’ to the EU economy and society.

A third (33%) of partners surveyed by Westcon-Comstor, however, said most of their customers outside the EU don’t realise they could be impacted.

Despite some misgivings over their own and their customers’ awareness levels, 65 per cent of partners believe NIS2 will ultimately succeed in its stated aim of improving cybersecurity defences and protection across the EU. Three quarters (76%) view NIS2 as a positive development overall.

Daniel Hurel, Vice President of Cyber Security & Next Gen Solutions EMEA at Westcon-Comstor said, “our survey shows clearly that partners are keen to help their customers navigate NIS2 and achieve readiness ahead of its implementation later this year. From education and enablement to managed services, partners have an opportunity to add value by serving as a trusted advisor to their customers and demonstrating expertise. First, however, partners are quite rightly seeking to build their understanding so they can seize the NIS2 opportunity equipped with the information they need.”

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