Bundestag Passes IT Security Law Containing Provisions for Critical Infrastructure Including Energy Sector

On 12 June 2015 Bundestag (Parliament) adopted a bill for an IT Security Act (IT-Sicherheitsgesetz, ref. no. 18/4096) as amended by the Bundestag’s interior committee (ref. no. 18/5121). The bills aims at counteracting the increasing number of cyber attacks and improving the IT security of public authorities and the private sector. It contains new provisions for so-called critical infrastructure, including the energy sector.

The amendments introduced by the interior committee also relate to the proposed new Sections 8a and 8b BSIG. Section 8a sets requirements for the safety of information technology systems, components thereof and processes of critical infrastructure. Operators are required to take precautionary measures for critical infrastructure within a period of two years following the entry into force of an ordinance that prescribes further details. According to the new Section 8b BSIG, operators of critical infrastructure have to report significant security incidents to BSI.

A new Section 14 BSIG provides that breach of the obligations under Sections 8a and 8b BSIG can be fined.

The bill is a so called “objection law” (Einspruchsgesetz), which means that the Bundesrat (Federal Council) that represents the interest of the sixteen German states may still object. An objection of the Bundesrat may ultimately be overridden by another Parliament decision though the hurdles can be high depending on the majority for the objection.

In light of the latest cyber attack on the Bundestag, IT security is likely to be also high on the agenda of the Bundesrat.

Source: Bundestag

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