Understanding the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) and Compliance Requirements

Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) Compliance Requirements

Discover what the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) means for cybersecurity in the financial sector. Learn the compliance requirements, and how to prepare with penetration testing.

Olivia Tanner
Olivia Tanner
Content & Communications Manager
June 12, 2024

Enforceable by January 2025, the EU's Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) introduces a landmark EU regulation framework, designed to help financial entities in the sector mitigate threats. This impacts both the financial sector and its IT suppliers. Depending on their current cyber security measures, some organisations may need to put in a lot of work to become compliant for this one.

The creators developed the DORA framework to ensure financial companies can continue to operate during cyber attacks. It acts as an intervention approach to security operations which is not considered a point in time resilience but an ongoing process that should happen overtime. Regulators will use DORA as a key factor to access and review businesses decisions and plans of the ongoing resilience against risk.

Key milestones to consider when preparing for DORA compliance

DORA compliance

Key compliance requirements driving its implementation

DORA compliance necessitates a proactive approach to risk management and cybersecurity. Here are some key requirements that financial institutions must follow:

  1. Risk Management Framework: Establishing a robust risk management framework is foundational to compliance. This involves identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks, such as weaknesses in your security infrastructure, to ensure operational continuity and security.
  2. Incident Reporting and Response: Prompt and effective incident reporting and response mechanisms are essential. Financial entities must swiftly detect and respond to incidents, minimising disruption and mitigating potential harm.
  3. Business Continuity Planning: Developing comprehensive business continuity plans to ensure operational resilience in the face of disruptions. These plans should outline procedures for maintaining critical functions during adverse events to support the wider security team to mitigate risks.
  4. ICT Risk Management: Managing Information and Communication Technology risks involves identifying vulnerabilities, implementing controls such as ongoing threat intelligence, and continuously monitoring systems to monitor potential threats.
  5. Third-party Risk Management: This is important for financial institutions as they use more third-party service providers. Entities must conduct due diligence, monitor performance, and ensure compliance with security standards with all third-party partnerships.

Who does the DORA regulation apply to?

As briefly mentioned, DORA regulation applies to the EU’s financial sector and those third-party suppliers to that sector. This includes all traditional financial institutions, such as banks, investment firms, and credit institutions, as well as nontraditional entities, such as crypto-assets service providers and crowdfunding platforms.

When does DORA come into force?

DORA’s compliance date is fast approaching for the EU’s financial landscape. This new legislation was introduced on 16 January 2023 and is due to come into effect on 17th January 2025. This has given financial entities two years to become compliant.

There are numerous sources to help the financial institutions prepare for this legislative framework. The timeline below shows the key DORA compliance dates so far and to look out for:

Timeline for DORA EU Implementation

How penetration testing can help achieve DORA compliance

To contribute to an organisation's risk management, financial organisations should conduct regular pentesting.

Penetration testing is a pivotal component of DORA compliance, offering valuable insights into the security posture of control systems. OnSecurity, is a leading pentesting provider, delivering high impact, high-intelligence testing to businesses of all sizes. Delivering seamless testing, OnSecurity helps simplify the delivery and management of pentesting for its clients.

Empowering businesses to protect their digital assets, safeguard customer data and maintain trust. By simplifying the management and delivery of pentesting, we make it easier for organisations to enhance their security posture and mitigate risks, contributing to a safer, more secure digital environment for everyone.

Penetration testing services and DORA compliance

Here's how OnSecurity's penetration testing services contribute to DORA compliance.

  1. Identifying Vulnerabilities: OnSecurity operates manual pentesting to simulate real-world cyber attacks, uncovering vulnerabilities that could compromise the operational resilience of financial systems.
  2. Assessing Security Controls: Through penetration testing, OnSecurity evaluates the efficacy of existing security controls and provides recommendations for strengthening defences against cyber threats.
  3. Mitigating Risks: By identifying and remediating vulnerabilities, financial institutions can mitigate risks and enhance their operational resilience, aligning with the objectives of DORA.
  4. Comprehensive Reporting: OnSecurity delivers detailed reports outlining findings, recommendations, and actionable insights, enabling organisations to prioritise remediation efforts and improve their security posture.

To wrap it up...

The DORA is a big step in making the financial sector more resilient to cyber threats. Achieving compliance with DORA requires a multifaceted approach encompassing risk management, incident response, and cybersecurity measures. Penetration testing is important for finding weaknesses and strengthening security in financial systems.

By embracing these principles and leveraging the expertise of cybersecurity professionals, financial institutions can navigate the complexities of DORA compliance and safeguard the integrity of their operations in an increasingly digital landscape.

Discover OnSecurity's penetration testing services now!

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