Feb 9 / Paul C Dwyer

DORA:Digital Operational Resilience Testing

DORA and Digital Operational Resilience Testing

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Digital Operational Resilience Testing: A Cornerstone of DORA Compliance

In the ever-evolving landscape of financial services, the importance of digital operational resilience cannot be overstated. The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) has been introduced to ensure that the financial sector’s digital infrastructure can withstand and quickly recover from all forms of ICT disruptions. This blog post aims to elucidate the key aspects of Digital Operational Resilience Testing as mandated by DORA, providing senior members of the financial sector with a roadmap to compliance.

The Imperative of Digital Operational Resilience Testing

DORA’s emphasis on resilience testing is a clear indication of the EU’s proactive stance on cybersecurity. As financial entities increasingly rely on digital operations, the potential impact of ICT incidents on the economy and society at large has become a focal point for regulatory bodies. Digital Operational Resilience Testing is not just a regulatory hoop to jump through; it is a critical business practice that ensures the robustness of financial services against cyber threats.

DORA’s Requirements on Digital Operational Resilience Testing

DORA outlines several key requirements for Digital Operational Resilience Testing:

Comprehensive Testing Program: Financial entities must establish a sound and comprehensive testing program as part of their ICT Risk Management Framework.

Alignment with Best Practices: The testing program should align with established best practices, such as those from the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and ISO 27001 standards.

Regular Assessments: Regular testing of asset management, protection processes, detection systems, and response strategies is required to identify vulnerabilities.

Advanced Testing: Advanced testing, including Threat-Led Penetration Testing (TLPT), is mandated to simulate real-world cyber-attacks and assess the effectiveness of security measures.

Actions for Meeting DORA’s Testing Requirements

To comply with DORA’s testing requirements, financial entities should:

Develop a Testing Framework: Create a structured testing framework that integrates with the overall ICT risk management strategy.

Conduct Regular and Advanced Testing: Perform both regular assessments and advanced testing exercises to evaluate the resilience of digital operations.

Review and Update Testing Procedures: Continuously review and update testing procedures to reflect the changing threat landscape and technological advancements.

Engage Qualified Testers: Ensure that testers have the necessary qualifications and expertise to conduct thorough and effective resilience testing.


Digital Operational Resilience Testing is a fundamental aspect of DORA that requires meticulous attention from financial entities. It is not an isolated requirement but part of a comprehensive approach to operational resilience. Senior members of the financial sector must recognize the interconnectivity of DORA’s objectives with their own operational strategies. By adopting a holistic view of DORA’s requirements and integrating resilience testing into their risk management frameworks, financial entities can not only achieve compliance but also fortify their defenses against the cyber threats of tomorrow.