Exploring the Benefits of DORA Certifications for Organisations

The European Union’s DORA (Digital Operational Resilience Act), which comes into effect on 17 January 2025, will significantly impact organisations within the financial services sector and their third-party technology service providers.

DORA is a comprehensive framework aimed at enhancing the digital operational resilience of digital services in the financial sector. It is designed to ensure that critical functions provided by financial institutions and their technology partners remain robust, even in the face of potential disruption or attacks. DORA recognises the increasing significance of digital services in the financial industry and seeks to protect them from cyber threats and operational failures.

For organisations within the financial services sector, DORA will introduce stricter requirements for risk management, incident response and the monitoring of critical business processes. This means organisations will have to actively identify and manage risks and disruptions to their digital operations. They will also need to establish effective incident response strategies, enabling prompt and efficient recovery in the event of any disruptions.

DORA will also impact third-party technology service providers. They will need to demonstrate their ability to meet the operational resilience requirements set forth by the Regulation. Financial institutions will be responsible for ensuring that their technology partners comply with DORA’s requirements, thereby enhancing the overall resilience of their digital services.

In this context, organisations within the financial services sector can benefit from upskilling and hiring DORA-qualified staff. DORA qualifications provide professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the regulatory landscape introduced by the regulation effectively. IBITGQ DORA qualifications cover key areas such as risk management, incident response and business continuity, enabling organisations to build resilience in their digital operations.

By obtaining IBITGQ DORA qualifications, organisations can demonstrate their commitment to meeting the operational resilience requirements outlined in the regulation. This helps them comply with DORA and enhances their reputation and trust among clients and stakeholders. Furthermore, these qualifications equip professionals with the expertise to effectively manage and respond to potential cyber threats and operational disruptions, resulting in a more robust and secure digital environment for the financial services sector.

A review of DORA

Our article titled “Gaining the Edge: How DORA Qualifications Empower Professionals in the Digital Operational Resilience Era” unpacked the five critical pillars on which the DORA framework is built. We will briefly summarise the key areas discussed.

DORA provides a framework for financial entities within the financial services industry to establish an internal governance and control framework for ICT. This includes appointing a management body to coordinate and implement risk management measures. DORA emphasises incident management, classification and reporting for entities in the financial services industry, providing a streamlined approach to managing disruptions, and minimising their impact on clients and business operations.

Digital operational resilience testing is required to prove the implementation of rigorous testing plans. Principle-based rules are also defined for outsourcing agreements to ensure they comply with minimum contracting requirements.

DORA permits financial entities to share information related to threats to improve defensive and detection techniques. The regulation also provides rules for a supervisory framework for critical ICT third-party service providers when providing services to financial entities, and rules on supervision, enforcement and cooperation among supervisory authorities.

IBITGQ DORA qualifications are critical for compliance and strengthening resilience

DORA qualifications play a vital role in organisational growth and compliance with data security regulations:

Regulatory compliance

  • Demonstrating compliance with DORA through certifications.
  • Implementation of DORA principles by certified employees.

Cost reduction

  • Risk mitigation through ongoing certification, reducing the risk of fines.
  • Strengthening digital resilience to prevent costly security breaches.

Risk mitigation

  • Identification of vulnerabilities and assessment of risks by certified professionals.
  • Effective reduction of security gaps and exposure to threats.

Enhanced reputation

  • Securing an organisation’s reputation through DORA compliance.
  • Contributing to business continuity and a safer data environment.

Competitive advantage

  • Gaining a competitive edge by complying with DORA before the deadline.
  • Enhanced business continuity for the organisation and stakeholders.

Data governance

  • Demonstrating commitment to data security and data governance regulations.
  • Alignment with regulations like the GDPR.

Extension of frameworks

  • DORA qualifications are based on established frameworks like ISO/IEC 27001:2022 and ISO 22301.
  • Clear path to compliance with the regulation.

Closing the skills gap

  • Encouraging employees to acquire DORA qualifications to reduce information security skills gaps.

Who should obtain a DORA qualification?

A DORA qualification is relevant for managers and professionals in various roles within financial-sector organisations, such as risk management, compliance, audit, ICT and related fields. It is also beneficial for those working in IT for service providers that supply ICT services to financial institutions operating in the EU. Those dedicated to continued professional development with a focus on high-quality information and cyber security practices can also benefit from DORA certification.

The ideal roles for different DORA qualifications:

Certified DORA Foundation: Recommended for people responsible for general management of the organisation or managing specific operations such as online services, payment processing, cash distribution, customer service processing, claims processing, insurance renewal, debt repayment management, and support functions like finance and IT staff.

Certified DORA Practitioner: Targeted at senior management, critical service providers, and people involved in essential financial services.

Certified DORA Lead Auditor: Suitable for managers and professionals responsible for preparing for regular audits and improving systems and processes to ensure compliance.

Certified DORA Compliance Officer: Designed for risk management, compliance and auditing professionals who ensure that service providers in the supply chain meet contractual responsibilities and compliance requirements related to DORA. It is also relevant for managers and professionals in ICT service providers and subcontractors to financial-sector organisations in EU.

Certified DORA Risk Director: Intended for senior managers and directors in financial-sector organisations accountable for their organisation's DORA compliance. It is also applicable to senior managers and directors in ICT service providers serving financial-sector organisations in the EU, who hold accountability for compliance in the deeper supply chain.