The final text of the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA)

Preamble 21 to 30, Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA)

(21) In order to maintain full control over ICT risk, financial entities need to have comprehensive capabilities to enable a strong and effective ICT risk management, as well as specific mechanisms and policies for handling all ICT-related incidents and for reporting major ICT-related incidents. Likewise, financial entities should have policies in place for the testing of ICT systems, controls and processes, as well as for managing ICT third-party risk. The digital operational resilience baseline for financial entities should be increased while also allowing for a proportionate application of requirements for certain financial entities, particularly microenterprises, as well as financial entities subject to a simplified ICT risk management framework.

To facilitate an efficient supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision that is proportionate and addresses the need to reduce administrative burdens on the competent authorities, the relevant national supervisory arrangements in respect of such financial entities should take into account their size and overall risk profile, and the nature, scale and complexity of their services, activities and operations even when the relevant thresholds established in Article 5 of Directive (EU) 2016/2341 of the European Parliament and of the Council are exceeded. In particular, supervisory activities should focus primarily on the need to address serious risks associated with the ICT risk management of a particular entity.

Competent authorities should also maintain a vigilant but proportionate approach in relation to the supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision which, in accordance with Article 31 of Directive (EU) 2016/2341, outsource a significant part of their core business, such as asset management, actuarial calculations, accounting and data management, to service providers.

(22) ICT-related incident reporting thresholds and taxonomies vary significantly at national level. While common ground may be achieved through the relevant work undertaken by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) established by Regulation (EU) 2019/881 of the European Parliament and of the Council and the Cooperation Group under Directive (EU) 2022/2555, divergent approaches on setting the thresholds and use of taxonomies still exist, or can emerge, for the remainder of financial entities. Due to those divergences, there are multiple requirements that financial entities must comply with, especially when operating across several Member States and when part of a financial group.

Moreover, such divergences have the potential to hinder the creation of further uniform or centralised Union mechanisms that speed up the reporting process and support a quick and smooth exchange of information between competent authorities, which is crucial for addressing ICT risk in the event of large-scale attacks with potentially systemic consequences.

(23) To reduce the administrative burden and potentially duplicative reporting obligations for certain financial entities, the requirement for the incident reporting pursuant to Directive (EU) 2015/2366 of the European Parliament and of the Council should cease to apply to payment service providers that fall within the scope of this Regulation. Consequently, credit institutions, e-money institutions, payment institutions and account information service providers, as referred to in Article 33(1) of that Directive, should, from the date of application of this Regulation, report pursuant to this Regulation, all operational or security payment-related incidents which have been previously reported pursuant to that Directive, irrespective of whether such incidents are ICT-related.

(24) To enable competent authorities to fulfil supervisory roles by acquiring a complete overview of the nature, frequency, significance and impact of ICT-related incidents and to enhance the exchange of information between relevant public authorities, including law enforcement authorities and resolution authorities, this Regulation should lay down a robust ICT-related incident reporting regime whereby the relevant requirements address current gaps in financial services law, and remove existing overlaps and duplications to alleviate costs.

It is essential to harmonise the ICT-related incident reporting regime by requiring all financial entities to report to their competent authorities through a single streamlined framework as set out in this Regulation. In addition, the ESAs should be empowered to further specify relevant elements for the ICT-related incident reporting framework, such as taxonomy, timeframes, data sets, templates and applicable thresholds. To ensure full consistency with Directive (EU) 2022/2555, financial entities should be allowed, on a voluntary basis, to notify significant cyber threats to the relevant competent authority, when they consider that the cyber threat is of relevance to the financial system, service users or clients.

(25) Digital operational resilience testing requirements have been developed in certain financial subsectors setting out frameworks that are not always fully aligned. This leads to a potential duplication of costs for cross-border financial entities and makes the mutual recognition of the results of digital operational resilience testing complex which, in turn, can fragment the internal market.

(26) In addition, where no ICT testing is required, vulnerabilities remain undetected and result in exposing a financial entity to ICT risk and ultimately create a higher risk to the stability and integrity of the financial sector. Without Union intervention, digital operational resilience testing would continue to be inconsistent and would lack a system of mutual recognition of ICT testing results across different jurisdictions.

In addition, as it is unlikely that other financial subsectors would adopt testing schemes on a meaningful scale, they would miss out on the potential benefits of a testing framework, in terms of revealing ICT vulnerabilities and risks, and testing defence capabilities and business continuity, which contributes to increasing the trust of customers, suppliers and business partners. To remedy those overlaps, divergences and gaps, it is necessary to lay down rules for a coordinated testing regime and thereby facilitate the mutual recognition of advanced testing for financial entities meeting the criteria set out in this Regulation.

(27) Financial entities’ reliance on the use of ICT services is partly driven by their need to adapt to an emerging competitive digital global economy, to boost their business efficiency and to meet consumer demand. The nature and extent of such reliance has been continuously evolving in recent years, driving cost reduction in financial intermediation, enabling business expansion and scalability in the deployment of financial activities while offering a wide range of ICT tools to manage complex internal processes.

(28) The extensive use of ICT services is evidenced by complex contractual arrangements, whereby financial entities often encounter difficulties in negotiating contractual terms that are tailored to the prudential standards or other regulatory requirements to which they are subject, or otherwise in enforcing specific rights, such as access or audit rights, even when the latter are enshrined in their contractual arrangements.

Moreover, many of those contractual arrangements do not provide for sufficient safeguards allowing for the fully-fledged monitoring of subcontracting processes, thus depriving the financial entity of its ability to assess the associated risks. In addition, as ICT third-party service providers often provide standardised services to different types of clients, such contractual arrangements do not always cater adequately for the individual or specific needs of financial industry actors.

(29) Even though Union financial services law contains certain general rules on outsourcing, monitoring of the contractual dimension is not fully anchored into Union law. In the absence of clear and bespoke Union standards applying to the contractual arrangements concluded with ICT third-party service providers, the external source of ICT risk is not comprehensively addressed. Consequently, it is necessary to set out certain key principles to guide financial entities’ management of ICT third-party risk, which are of particular importance when financial entities resort to ICT third-party service providers to support their critical or important functions.

Those principles should be accompanied by a set of core contractual rights in relation to several elements in the performance and termination of contractual arrangements with a view to providing certain minimum safeguards in order to strengthen financial entities’ ability to effectively monitor all ICT risk emerging at the level of third-party service providers. Those principles are complementary to the sectoral law applicable to outsourcing.

(30) A certain lack of homogeneity and convergence regarding the monitoring of ICT third-party risk and ICT third-party dependencies is evident today. Despite efforts to address outsourcing, such as EBA Guidelines on outsourcing of 2019 and ESMA Guidelines on outsourcing to cloud service providers of 2021 the broader issue of counteracting systemic risk which may be triggered by the financial sector’s exposure to a limited number of critical ICT third-party service providers is not sufficiently addressed by Union law. The lack of rules at Union level is compounded by the absence of national rules on mandates and tools that allow financial supervisors to acquire a good understanding of ICT third-party dependencies and to monitor adequately risks arising from the concentration of ICT third-party dependencies.

Note: This is the final text of the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) - Regulation (EU) 2022/2554 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2022 on digital operational resilience for the financial sector and amending Regulations (EC) No 1060/2009, (EU) No 648/2012, (EU) No 600/2014, (EU) No 909/2014 and (EU) 2016/1011 (Text with EEA relevance).

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