CEPS Project

Towards a Digital Market for NIS products and services


A key platform for the EU’s economy over the coming decades will be the consolidation of an online eCommerce market across the Member States. However, the emerging online Digital Single Market (DSM) will be in increasing jeopardy from various forms of cyber attack. These are now growing in intensity and above all in sophistication to a level unimaginable even a decade ago. The objective of this report is to assess the current NIS market in the EU from an economic and technical standpoint, in view of the DSM and its future demands for protection. The study’s scope first focuses on the European market’s characteristics, although key NIS offerings are expected from non-EU providers. The study focused on five market segments – online banking, online marketplaces, cloud storage, wireless telecommunications, and online media – examining the cyber threat landscape, trends and the solutions provided by EU and global suppliers. A SWOT analysis identifies the strengths and weaknesses of EU suppliers as well as market opportunities and threats. In a second step, the study formulates a pragmatic industrial policy, derived from the study’s findings on the current state of the market. The report’s findings come from a series of in-depth interviews with users and suppliers, supported by desk research. It is no surprise to learn that the EU market is fragmented by Member State, by language and national sovereignty issues. Nevertheless, there is a complex ecosystem that thrives in such conditions by combining services and products. The SWOT analysis of the EU NIS industry found that there are as many opportunities and strengths as there are weaknesses and threats. The NIS industry needs further support to ensure its expansion into all Member States, to protect all companies and citizens adequately. Like many other high-tech sectors of strategic importance to Europe – from robotics to cloud computing to the Internet of Things – an industrial policy is necessary to support the NIS industry. To further increase the value of the industry, its services and products, there is a critical need for ongoing certification of offerings for proof of their efficacy. Thus support for EU level of certification with an approvals labelling scheme is an urgent requirement. Certification can reassure customers of all sizes that the offering has a specified quality, which could be branded by EU labelling for sales across the EU and internationally.

Colin Blackman

Associate Research Fellow

+44 7850 732838

Romain Bosc

Research Assistant

+32 (0)2 229 39 75

Andrea Renda

Senior Research Fellow and Head of Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation & Digital Economy

+32 (0)2 229 39 17