March 14, 2024

Navigating the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA)

Key Insights from Industry Experts

In the rapidly evolving landscape of cyber risk management, the impending Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) stands as a significant milestone for financial institutions operating within Europe. A recent Balbix webcast DORA: Practical Insights On How To Achieve Cyber “Resilience” featuring DORA experts Paul Kelly, DORA expert and Security Strategy Advisor,  and Sid Wahi, Senior Director of Product Management Balbix, shed light on four crucial aspects of preparing for DORA compliance that are particularly compelling for businesses in the European financial industry on the brink of this regulatory transformation that goes into effect Jan. 17, 2025.

Watch the full on-demand webcast here

1. The Urgency and Impact of DORA Compliance

With the DORA deadline looming, Both Sid and Paul emphasized the critical need for organizations to develop robust roadmaps and strategies for compliance given the comprehensive impact of the regulations on financial institutions. DORA’s goal to bolster cyber resilience in the financial sector is not just a regulatory mandate but a fundamental shift towards ensuring operational stability and consumer protection in an increasingly digital economy. This urgency underpins the necessity for institutions to reassess their cybersecurity and IT risk postures comprehensively.

2. Challenges and Strategic Approaches to DORA Compliance

Paul Kelly’s insights into the challenges of DORA compliance were particularly enlightening. He highlighted the prescriptive nature of the regulations, which demand a detailed understanding of IT risks, assets and their interconnections. The task is onerous yet critical for maintaining the resilience of financial services. Sid Wahi’s perspective complemented this by stressing the shift from a compliance mindset to a cyber assurance mindset. This involves adopting a risk-based approach to cybersecurity, emphasizing proactive management and resilience building as opposed to mere regulatory compliance. The dialogue illuminated the strategic steps organizations must take, including gap assessments and leveraging AI and automation, to navigate these challenges effectively.

3. The Role of AI and Automation in Achieving Compliance and Cyber Resilience

Perhaps the most forward-looking part of the discussion revolved around the use of AI and automation in meeting DORA’s requirements. Sid and Paul concurred that the dynamic nature of cyber threats and the complexity of modern IT environments make traditional, manual approaches to compliance and risk management untenable. AI and automation emerge as essential tools in this context, providing the agility and efficiency needed to manage and mitigate risks in real-time. This technology-driven approach not only aids in compliance but also fosters a more resilient digital infrastructure capable of withstanding and adapting to the cyber challenges of tomorrow.

4. Third-Party Risk Management Under DORA

The implications of DORA on third-party risk management are critical considerations, given the financial sector’s increasing reliance on cloud services, software and infrastructure providers. DORA mandates a more rigorous and structured approach to managing these third-party relationships, including detailed contractual provisions, continuous monitoring and the ability to audit and assess third-party contributions to operational resilience. This focus on third-party vendors is not only about ensuring compliance but also about safeguarding the financial ecosystem from systemic risks that could arise from the interconnected nature of these services. The discussion highlighted the need for financial institutions to have a comprehensive understanding of their supply chain and the associated risks, urging a proactive stance in third-party risk management.


The webcast provided a comprehensive overview of the critical considerations and strategies for DORA compliance, emphasizing the act’s broader implications for digital operational resilience. As financial institutions and their third-party service providers gear up for the DORA deadline, the insights shared by Paul Kelly and Sid Wahi serve as a valuable guide. The shift towards a more resilient, AI-enhanced cyber risk management framework is not just a regulatory requirement but a strategic imperative for the financial industry. In navigating DORA, organizations are not merely complying with regulations but are stepping into a future where resilience becomes a cornerstone of their operational ethos.

As the digital economy continues to expand, the principles underlying DORA will likely become a benchmark for cyber resilience across sectors. The journey towards compliance, while challenging, is an opportunity for institutions to redefine their approach to cybersecurity, leveraging cutting-edge technologies to protect their operations, customers, and the broader financial system from the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

How Balbix Can Help Achieve DORA Compliance

Empower your cybersecurity and operational resilience strategies. Download “A CISO’s Guide to DORA” now to align your organization with DORA standards and secure a resilient future.