Navigating DORA and the GDPR: Integrating compliance with IBITGQ

The European Union’s Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set rigorous standards for financial institutions operating within the region. DORA mandates robust defences against cyber threats, while the GDPR enshrines data privacy and protection rights. To guide professionals through these complex regulatory requirements, IBITGQ offers a range of specialised DORA and GDPR qualifications. These programmes empower professionals to confidently implement compliance strategies, fortifying both digital resilience and data protection within their organisations.

DORA and GDPR alignment

DORA, which takes effect from 17 January 2025, draws inspiration from the framework approach in the GDPR. Instead of outlining particular rules, DORA establishes broad principles for financial entities to follow when safeguarding their ICT systems. DORA doesn’t replace existing EU data protection laws, but complements them.

DORA and the GDPR both prioritise the security and integrity of data – whether personal or non-personal – as well as the rights of data subjects within the digital sphere. However, each has a distinct scope and set of responsibilities. Organisations will need to harmonise their approach to meet the requirements of both.

To prepare for DORA’s significant impact, financial entities and ICT service providers must begin compliance efforts immediately. Starting with an assessment of DORA’s obligations, followed by a gap analysis and remediation strategy, will set them on the right path. This plan should be holistic, considering existing security-focused legislation and data protection regulations.

Integrated digital resilience: Harmonising DORA and the GDPR

Foundations of regulatory understanding

IBITGQ’s Certified DORA Foundation and Certified GDPR Foundation qualifications provide essential introductions to their respective regulatory landscapes. The DORA Foundation syllabus offers fundamental insights into the Regulation’s principles and practical implementation for financial institutions. Likewise, the GDPR Foundation course establishes core concepts of personal data protection, regulatory scope, key definitions and the practical responsibilities of organisations subject to the GDPR.

Developing practical implementation skills

The focus shifts to hands-on implementation with IBITGQ’s Certified DORA Practitioner and Certified GDPR Practitioner qualifications. The DORA course teaches professionals to integrate DORA into existing governance and risk management structures, situating it within the broader financial regulatory environment. Similarly, the GDPR Practitioner training delves into applying data protection principles, handling subject access requests, understanding controller–processor relationships, and conducting security assessments within an ongoing risk management framework.

Attaining compliance leadership

For those tasked with overseeing and guiding compliance efforts, the Certified DORA Compliance Officer and Certified Data Protection Officer courses provide a strategic vantage point. The DORA Compliance Officer syllabus empowers professionals to build specialised DORA compliance frameworks, conduct gap analyses and evaluate ICT risk management programmes. The DPO course trains data protection leaders to oversee compliance programmes, address data subject rights, implement DPIAs, and manage ongoing accountability efforts in line with GDPR requirements.

The importance of auditing

Ensuring robust compliance in both domains calls for rigorous evaluation. The Certified DORA Lead Auditor course emphasises in-depth evaluation of ICT risk management frameworks, resilience testing, and third-party risk management in line with DORA’s requirements. In the GDPR sphere, conducting regular GDPR audits is a key step to maintaining alignment with the Regulation, encompassing a proactive identification and mitigation of risks to sensitive data.

Senior management leadership

At the highest level, senior management plays a pivotal role in the success of any data protection and resilience plan. IBITGQ’s Certified DORA Risk Director syllabus focuses on understanding DORA compliance requirements, leveraging ICT risk management and managing third-party risk from a strategic viewpoint. With GDPR compliance, senior management must champion data protection, ensuring adequate allocation of resources, staff training and robust implementation across the organisation.

Safeguarding the future: Invest in IBITGQ qualifications

DORA and GDPR compliance demands ongoing vigilance within a constantly shifting regulatory and technological landscape. IBITGQ’s qualifications not only provide a solid foundation but also offer opportunities for continuing professional development. By proactively attaining these industry-recognised qualifications, financial-sector professionals demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding their institutions, protecting sensitive data, and leading their organisations into a more resilient digital future.

How to get IBITGQ certified: three convenient paths

To attain an IBITGQ certification, choose one of three pathways. Enrol in formal training with an Accredited Training Organisation (ATO) for comprehensive preparation leading to the examination; purchase an examination voucher from an ATO, which is valid for a specific period; or demonstrate your knowledge by independently booking an examination through an IBITGQ examination provider.