Digital Operational Resilience Act

DORA: Why it is relevant & why is it relevant to you?

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The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) is a new European framework for effective and all-inclusive management of digital risks in Financial Markets. 

The framework shifts the focus from only guaranteeing firms’ financial soundness to also ensuring they can maintain resilient operations through an incident of severe operational disruption deriving from Cybersecurity and ICT issues.

By introducing a single consistent supervisory approach across the relevant sectors, DORA ensures convergence and harmonization of security and resilience practices across the EU.

DORA will apply to more than 22,000 financial entities and ICT service providers operating within the EU. 

The regulation will introduce specific and prescriptive requirements for all financial market participants including e.g. banks, investment firms, insurance undertakings and intermediaries, crypto asset providers, data reporting providers and cloud service providers.

DORA introduces an end-to-end holistic framework of effective Risk management, ICT and Cybersecurity operational capabilities, to Third Party management, ensuring a consistent provision of services across the entire value chain.      

The regulation is unique in introducing a Union-wide Oversight Framework on critical ICT third-party providers, as designated by the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs).

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DORA - So what?

The EU-wide uniform requirements of DORA mean that financial entities need to ensure they can manage a consistent maturity level of cybersecurity and operational resilience across all their EU operations. 

With a two-year “getting ready” period, there is a lot that needs to be considered, implemented, and demonstrated. 

Starting right now, financial institutions should conduct comprehensive gap assessments to evaluate their respective maturity vis-à-vis DORA and timely identify any areas that require further investment and prioritization. 

This will put your business in a better position to address more complex requirements such as supply risk management, threat intelligence, and advanced security testing, providing you with a competitive advantage on the market. 


We see DORA as a significant change for entities within ESMA or EIOPA supervision, but also for banks which have already had to comply with existing EBA guidelines on banking supervision.  

DORA also extends its scope to include other stakeholders in the financial sector, who so far have not been subject to extensive ICT security regulation, e.g. crypto-asset service providers, intermediaries managers of alternative investment funds, crowdfunding service providers, cloud-service providers and ICT third-party service providers.

Given the strong focus on third party risk management, entities are expected to satisfy themselves of a third party’s resilience which will require close interaction and joint efforts with their critical ICT third-party service providers, especially where they support the delivery of an important business service.


When will DORA be enforced?

DORA has entered into force at the beginning of 2023. With an implementation period of two years, financial entities will be expected to be compliant with the regulation latest by early 2025.


On 24 September 2020, the European Commission published its draft Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) as part of the Digital Finance Package (DFP).

Reaching an Agreement

Following the publications of the European Parliament and Council's proposals for DORA, the co-legislators held political and technical trilogues throughout H1 2022. 

The European Council adopted DORA on November 28th, 2022, after the European Parliament voted in favor of the act on November 10th.

Entering into Force

DORA has been into force since Q1 2023.

We expect the first regulatory and implementing technical standards (RTS and ITS) to be developed by the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs).


Multiple regulatory and implementing technical standards are defined and issued by the ESAs. They provide entities with specifications and guidance on how to implement specific DORA requirements.



DORA requirements are enforceable 24 months after entry into force. Therefore, financial entities will be expected to be compliant with DORA by early 2025.


DORA will set the regulatory focus on 5 key pillars:


ICT Risk Management

Financial entities are required to set up a comprehensive ICT risk management framework, including: 

  • Set-up and maintain resilient ICT systems and tools that minimize the impact of ICT risk.

  • Identify, classify and document critical functions and assets

  • Continuously monitor all sources of ICT risks in order to set-up protection and prevention measures

  • Establish prompt detection of anomalous activities 

  • Put in place dedicated and comprehensive business continuity policies and disaster and recovery plans, incl. yearly testing of the plans, covering all supporting functions

  • Establish mechanisms to learn and evolve both from external events as well as the entity’s own ICT incidents

ICT-related Incident Reporting

Financial entities are required to:

  • Develop a streamlined process to log/classify all ICT incidents and determine major incidents according to the criteria detailed in the regulation and further specified by the European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA)

  • Submit an initial, intermediate and final report on ICT-related incidents

  • Harmonize the reporting of ICT-related incidents through standard templates as developed by the ESAs

Digital Operational Resilience Testing

The regulation requires all entities to:

  • Annually perform basic ICT testing of ICT tools and systems

  • Identify, mitigate and promptly eliminate any weaknesses, deficiencies or gaps with the implementation of counteractive measures
  • Periodically perform advanced Threat-Led Penetration Testing (TLPT) for ICT services which impact critical functions. ICT third-party service providers are required to participate and fully cooperate in the testing activities


ICT Third-Party Risk Management

Financial entities are required to: 

  • Ensure sound monitoring of risks emanating from the reliance on ICT third-party providers

  • Report their complete register of outsourced activities, incl. intra-group services and any changes to the outsourcing of critical services to ICT third party service providers

  • Take account of IT concentrating risk and risks arising from sub-outsourcing activities

  • Harmonize key elements of the service and relationship with ICT third-party providers to enable a ‘complete’ monitoring

  • Ensure that the contracts with the ICT third-party providers contain all the necessary monitoring and accessibility details such as a full-service level description, indication of locations where data is being processed, etc

  • Critical ICT third-party service providers will be subject to a Union Oversight Framework, which can issue recommendations on the mitigation of identified ICT risks. Financial entities must consider the ICT third-party risks of their service provider who do not follow the defined recommendation

Information Sharing

  • The regulation allows financial entities to set-up arrangements amongst themselves to exchange cyber threat information and intelligence.

  • The supervisory authority will provide relevant anonymized information and intelligence on cyber threats to financial entities. Therefore, entities should implement mechanisms to review and take action on the information shared by the authorities.

Our view on DORA

Given the broad scope of DORA, it is likely that it addresses many topics that have already been considered by existing regulations in the E.U. 

Nevertheless, certain topics such as threat intelligence and threat-led penetration testing are of a new character and therefore require heightened attention. Further, the ability to develop an overarching visibility and understanding of all the key dependencies between your entity and your critical ICT service providers is another challenge we see.


Our recommendation for all entities in scope is therefore regardless of where you are in terms of the maturity of your digital and operational resilience, DORA should be a trigger for either starting or enhancing your resilience journey. An initial GAP analysis and maturity assessment is a great starting point. 

Generally, entities that are applying the current regulatory requirements in line with current audit practices may be better positioned to implement the majority of the DORA requirements. Yet, having supported numerous clients with their cybersecurity and resilience efforts, our message is: do not be complacent. There is no such thing as “too resilient” or “too secure”.

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Contact us

Sophie Solomonidou

Director, Risk Assurance, PwC Cyprus

Tel: +357-22555150

Minos Georgakis

Director, Advisory, PwC Cyprus

Tel: +357-22555545

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