DORA and Business Continuity
Business Continuity Planning in the Age of DORA: A Strategic Imperative for the Financial Sector
In the complex and interconnected world of finance, the ability to maintain continuous operations is not just a competitive advantage, but a regulatory necessity. The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) has brought this into sharp focus, establishing a comprehensive framework for business continuity planning within the EU financial sector. This blog post delves into the critical aspects of business continuity as mandated by DORA, offering senior financial sector members actionable insights to navigate this regulatory landscape.
The Centrality of Business Continuity in DORA
DORA’s introduction is a watershed moment for the financial sector’s approach to operational resilience. It recognises that the extended use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems, while driving efficiency and customer satisfaction, also introduces risks that can disrupt financial services. Business continuity planning under DORA is not just about recovery; it’s about ensuring uninterrupted service amidst a variety of challenges, from cyber-attacks to natural disasters.
Key DORA Requirements for Business Continuity
DORA outlines several requirements that financial entities must meet to ensure robust business continuity:
ICT Business Continuity Policy: Entities must develop and maintain a policy that is ratified and routinely assessed by the management body, in line with Article 5(2) of DORA.
ICT Response and Recovery Plans: These plans should be comprehensive, detailing actions to be taken in the event of ICT disruptions, and must be regularly tested for effectiveness.
Management Oversight: The management body must endorse and regularly revisit the firm’s ICT internal audit plans, ensuring that business continuity measures are up to date and effective.
Resilience Testing: Regular testing of ICT systems is mandated to ensure that they can withstand a variety of operational shocks.
Actions to Align with DORA’s Business Continuity Requirements
To comply with DORA, senior members of the financial sector should consider the following steps:
Develop a Comprehensive ICT Business Continuity Policy: This policy should be tailored to your entity’s specific needs and risks, and it should be integrated into the broader scope of your firm’s comprehensive business continuity policy.
Implement Robust ICT Response and Recovery Plans: These plans should be actionable, with clear roles and responsibilities, and should be communicated across the organisation.
Ensure Regular Management Review: The management body should actively participate in the oversight of business continuity measures, demonstrating a commitment to resilience at the highest levels.
Engage in Regular Testing: Conduct resilience testing exercises to identify potential weaknesses in your ICT systems and refine your response and recovery plans accordingly.
DORA’s requirements for business continuity are not isolated mandates but are part of a larger ecosystem of operational resilience. Senior members of the financial sector must adopt a holistic view, recognising that the strength of one area supports and enhances the resilience of others. By integrating business continuity planning into your operational fabric, you not only comply with DORA but also protect your entity against the full spectrum of digital risks. In doing so, you contribute to the stability and integrity of the broader financial system.