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What is The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA)?

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Introduction

The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) is a legislative proposal by the European Commission aimed at strengthening the digital operational resilience of the financial sector in the European Union (EU). This act seeks to ensure that financial institutions and other entities providing critical digital services are adequately prepared to prevent and respond to cyber threats and incidents.

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Key Objectives of DORA

DORA has several key objectives that are designed to enhance the overall security and resilience of the EU’s financial sector. These objectives include:

1. Enhancing the Supervisory Framework

DORA aims to establish a comprehensive supervisory framework for digital operational resilience. This framework will ensure that competent authorities have the necessary tools and powers to effectively supervise and monitor the cybersecurity and operational resilience of financial institutions and critical service providers.

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    2. Promoting Proactive Risk Management

    DORA emphasizes the importance of proactive risk management by requiring financial institutions and critical service providers to identify, assess, and mitigate their operational and cyber risks. This includes implementing robust cybersecurity measures, conducting regular risk assessments, and establishing incident response plans.

    3. Strengthening Incident Reporting and Cooperation

    DORA introduces a harmonized incident reporting framework that requires financial institutions and critical service providers to promptly report significant cyber incidents to their national competent authorities. It also promotes cross-border cooperation and information sharing among competent authorities to facilitate a coordinated response to cyber threats.

    4. Ensuring Third-Party Oversight

    DORA recognizes the importance of third-party service providers in the digital ecosystem and imposes specific requirements on financial institutions and critical service providers when outsourcing critical functions. This includes conducting due diligence, establishing contractual arrangements, and regularly assessing the cybersecurity and operational resilience of their third-party providers.

    5. Fostering a Risk-Based Approach

    DORA promotes a risk-based approach to digital operational resilience, taking into account the size, complexity, and integration of financial institutions and critical service providers. It encourages the use of proportionate and effective measures based on the specific risks they face, while ensuring a consistent level of security across the EU.

    Implications and Benefits of DORA

    The implementation of DORA will have significant implications for financial institutions and critical service providers operating in the EU. Some of the key benefits and implications include:

    1. Improved Cybersecurity and Resilience

    DORA will drive financial institutions and critical service providers to enhance their cybersecurity measures and operational resilience capabilities. This will help protect them from cyber threats, reduce the likelihood of successful attacks, and minimize the impact of incidents, ultimately safeguarding the stability and integrity of the financial sector.

    2. Enhanced Supervision and Accountability

    DORA will strengthen the supervisory framework and increase the accountability of financial institutions and critical service providers. Competent authorities will have greater oversight and enforcement powers, ensuring that entities comply with the required cybersecurity and operational resilience standards.

    3. Streamlined Incident Reporting and Response

    The harmonized incident reporting framework introduced by DORA will streamline the reporting process for cyber incidents. This will enable competent authorities to receive timely and accurate information, facilitating a more coordinated and effective response to cyber threats at both national and EU levels.

    4. Increased Trust and Confidence

    By establishing a robust framework for digital operational resilience, DORA aims to increase trust and confidence in the EU’s financial sector. This will benefit not only financial institutions and critical service providers but also their customers, investors, and other stakeholders who rely on the security and stability of the digital services they provide.

    5. Harmonization and Cooperation

    DORA promotes harmonization and cooperation among EU member states, facilitating a consistent approach to digital operational resilience across the EU. This will help address the cross-border nature of cyber threats and incidents, ensuring a more effective response and reducing potential vulnerabilities in the financial sector.

    Conclusion

    The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) is a significant legislative proposal aimed at strengthening the digital operational resilience of the financial sector in the European Union. By enhancing the supervisory framework, promoting proactive risk management, strengthening incident reporting and cooperation, ensuring third-party oversight, and fostering a risk-based approach, DORA seeks to enhance cybersecurity, resilience, and trust in the EU’s financial sector. Its implementation will have far-reaching implications, ultimately contributing to a more secure and resilient digital ecosystem.

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