DORA (Digital Operational Resilience Act)

Let’s Chat About DORA (Digital Operational Resilience Act)

June 17, 2024

Jaco Dreyer


Let’s talk about DORA, and no, we’re not referring to the adventurous cartoon explorer! DORA stands for the Digital Operational Resilience Act, and if you’re involved in the financial sector, it’s an important piece of new legislation you need to be aware of. 

What is DORA All About? 

DORA is the EU’s response to the increasing number of cyber threats targeting financial organisations like yours. Think of it as a set of clear guidelines designed to help your business become more resilient against these threats. By following DORA, you can ensure your IT systems can withstand disruptions, whether it’s a simple glitch or a more serious cyberattack. This means your business can keep operating smoothly and securely, protecting your customers’ data, and maintaining their trust. 

In simpler terms, DORA is about making sure your financial operations can bounce back from any digital disruptions. It helps you identify potential security weaknesses before they become problems and gives you a roadmap for recovering quickly if something does go wrong. 

Key Deadlines 

While the official enforcement date for DORA is 17 January 2025, taking proactive steps now can ensure a smooth transition and build a more secure financial business. 

Don’t wait until the last minute! DORA compliance isn’t a one-time fix. It requires careful planning, assessing your current IT security practices, and potentially implementing new measures. Starting early allows you to approach compliance in a phased and manageable way. 

What Does DORA Mean for Your Financial Organisation? 

Unlike large financial organisations with established security protocols, SMEs may face new challenges with DORA. However, DORA isn’t meant to be overwhelming. Here’s how DORA can benefit your business:

  • Reduced Risk: DORA helps identify and address security weaknesses, reducing the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches 
  • Improved Continuity: By building a more resilient IT infrastructure, your business can recover quickly and minimise downtime from disruptions 
  • Enhanced Customer Trust: Following DORA’s guidelines demonstrates your commitment to secure practices, building trust with customers 

Key DORA Requirements and How to Prepare 

DORA outlines five key requirements to achieve these benefits. Let’s break them down into actionable steps: 

  • ICT Risk Management Framework: Develop a plan to identify, assess, and mitigate potential IT security risks. This could involve conducting regular security audits and implementing preventative measures. 
  • Incident Reporting: Streamline your process for reporting cyber incidents to the authorities. The faster you report, the faster you can recover and identify trends. 
  • Testing: Regularly test your IT systems and staff’s response capabilities to cyber threats. Think of it as a fire drill for your IT infrastructure, exposing vulnerabilities before they become critical. 
  • Third-Party Risk Management: Assess the security posture of your third-party providers. If they experience a cyberattack, it could impact your business. Consider including security clauses in your contracts with them. 
  • Threat Intelligence Sharing (Optional): DORA encourages collaboration between financial organisations. Sharing information about cyber threats can help everyone stay ahead of the curve. 

Getting Started with DORA 

While DORA compliance may seem complex, you can break it down into manageable steps for your SME. Here’s a simplified guide to get you started: 

  • Understand Your Current State: Familiarise yourself with the key DORA requirements by visiting the official DORA website and conduct a simple review of your current IT security practices to identify areas for improvement. This can be done internally or with the help of a cyber security consultant. 
  • Develop a Plan: Create a roadmap outlining the steps you need to take to achieve DORA compliance by the 17th January 2025 deadline. This may involve allocating resources, training staff, or implementing new security protocols. 
  • Address Core DORA Requirements: Focus on the five core DORA elements: 
  • ICT Risk Management: Develop a plan to identify, assess, and mitigate potential security weaknesses. 
  • Incident Reporting: Establish a process for reporting cyber incidents to the authorities. 
  • Testing: Regularly test your IT systems and staff’s response capabilities. 
  • Third-Party Risk Management: Assess the security posture of your third-party providers. 
  • Threat Intelligence Sharing: Stay informed about cyber threats by collaborating with other organisations. 
  • Seek Help: DORA compliance doesn’t have to be a solo act. Many resources are available to help you understand and comply with the regulation. Here are some options to consider: 
  • Your Local Financial Regulatory Body: They can provide guidance and answer specific questions about DORA in your region. 
  • Cyber Security Professionals or IT Security Consultants: These professionals can offer tailored advice and support for implementing DORA compliance measures in your organisation. 

Remember, seeking help from qualified professionals can save you time and resources in the long run. 

Download DORA Compliance Checklist 


DORA may seem complex, but by understanding its purpose and focusing on the benefits, you can see it as a valuable tool for strengthening your financial business. By following DORA’s guidelines, you can build a more secure and resilient IT infrastructure, protecting your customers’ data and building trust. 

Remember: DORA compliance is an ongoing process. However, by taking proactive steps now, you’ll be well-positioned to navigate the future of cybersecurity and build a thriving financial institution. 

Simplify Your DORA Journey with OneCollab’s expert guidance. We understand the challenges SMEs face with DORA compliance. If you have any questions or need guidance, feel free to contact us for a consultation. 

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