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Chapter I – General provisions (Art. 1-4)

Art. 1 DORA - Subject matter arrow_right_alt

  1. In order to achieve a high common level of digital operational resilience, this Regulation lays down uniform requirements concerning the security of network and information systems supporting the business processes of financial entities as follows:
    1. requirements applicable to financial entities in relation to:
      1. information and communication technology (ICT) risk management;
      2. reporting of major ICT-related incidents and notifying, on a voluntary basis, significant cyber threats to the competent authorities;
      3. reporting of major operational or security payment-related incidents to the competent authorities by financial entities referred to in Article 2(1), points (a) to (d);
      4. digital operational resilience testing;
      5. information and intelligence sharing in relation to cyber threats and vulnerabilities;
      6. measures for the sound management of ICT third-party risk;
    2. requirements in relation to the contractual arrangements concluded between ICT third-party service providers and financial entities;
    3. rules for the establishment and conduct of the Oversight Framework for critical ICT third-party service providers when providing services to financial entities;
    4. rules on cooperation among competent authorities, and rules on supervision and enforcement by competent authorities in relation to all matters covered by this Regulation.
  2. In relation to financial entities identified as essential or important entities pursuant to national rules transposing Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2022/2555, this Regulation shall be considered a sector-specific Union legal act for the purposes of Article 4 of that Directive.
  3. This Regulation is without prejudice to the responsibility of Member States’ regarding essential State functions concerning public security, defence and national security in accordance with Union law.
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Recital 1

In the digital age, information and communication technology (ICT) supports complex systems used for everyday activities. It keeps our economies running in key sectors, including the financial sector, and enhances the functioning of the internal market. Increased digitalisation and interconnectedness also amplify ICT risk, making society as a whole, and the financial system in particular, more vulnerable to cyber threats or ICT disruptions. While the ubiquitous use of ICT systems and high digitalisation and connectivity are today core features of the activities of Union financial entities, their digital resilience has yet to be better addressed and integrated into their broader operational frameworks.

Recital 2

The use of ICT has in the past decades gained a pivotal role in the provision of financial services, to the point where it has now acquired a critical importance in the operation of typical daily functions of all financial entities. Digitalisation now covers, for instance, payments, which have increasingly moved from cash and paper-based methods to the use of digital solutions, as well as securities clearing and settlement, electronic and algorithmic trading, lending and funding operations, peer-to-peer finance, credit rating, claim management and back-office operations. The insurance sector has also been transformed by the use of ICT, from the emergence of insurance intermediaries offering their services online operating with InsurTech, to digital insurance underwriting. Finance has not only become largely digital throughout the whole sector, but digitalisation has also deepened interconnections and dependencies within the financial sector and with third-party infrastructure and service providers.

Recital 3

The European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) reaffirmed in a 2020 report addressing systemic cyber risk how the existing high level of interconnectedness across financial entities, financial markets and financial market infrastructures, and particularly the interdependencies of their ICT systems, could constitute a systemic vulnerability because localised cyber incidents could quickly spread from any of the approximately 22 000 Union financial entities to the entire financial system, unhindered by geographical boundaries. Serious ICT breaches that occur in the financial sector do not merely affect financial entities taken in isolation. They also smooth the way for the propagation of localised vulnerabilities across the financial transmission channels and potentially trigger adverse consequences for the stability of the Union’s financial system, such as generating liquidity runs and an overall loss of confidence and trust in financial markets.

Recital 4

In recent years, ICT risk has attracted the attention of international, Union and national policy makers, regulators and standard-setting bodies in an attempt to enhance digital resilience, set standards and coordinate regulatory or supervisory work. At international level, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, the Financial Stability Board, the Financial Stability Institute, as well as the G7 and G20 aim to provide competent authorities and market operators across various jurisdictions with tools to bolster the resilience of their financial systems. That work has also been driven by the need to duly consider ICT risk in the context of a highly interconnected global financial system and to seek more consistency of relevant best practices.

Recital 5

Despite Union and national targeted policy and legislative initiatives, ICT risk continues to pose a challenge to the operational resilience, performance and stability of the Union financial system. The reforms that followed the 2008 financial crisis primarily strengthened the financial resilience of the Union financial sector and aimed to safeguard the competitiveness and stability of the Union from economic, prudential and market conduct perspectives. Although ICT security and digital resilience are part of operational risk, they have been less in the focus of the post-financial crisis regulatory agenda and have developed in only some areas of the Union’s financial services policy and regulatory landscape, or in only a few Member States.

Recital 6

In its Communication of 8 March 2018 entitled ‘FinTech Action plan: For a more competitive and innovative European financial sector’, the Commission highlighted the paramount importance of making the Union financial sector more resilient, including from an operational perspective to ensure its technological safety and good functioning, its quick recovery from ICT breaches and incidents, ultimately enabling the effective and smooth provision of financial services across the whole Union, including under situations of stress, while also preserving consumer and market trust and confidence.

Recital 7

In April 2019, the European Supervisory Authority (European Banking Authority), (EBA) established by Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1), the European Supervisory Authority (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority), (‘EIOPA’) established by Regulation (EU) No 1094/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2) and the European Supervisory Authority (European Securities and Markets Authority), (‘ESMA’) established by Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council (3) (known collectively as ‘European Supervisory Authorities’ or ‘ESAs’) jointly issued technical advice calling for a coherent approach to ICT risk in finance and recommending to strengthen, in a proportionate way, the digital operational resilience of the financial services industry through a sector-specific initiative of the Union.

(1) Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Banking Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/78/EC (OJ L 331, 15.12.2010, p. 12).
(2) Regulation (EU) No 1094/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/79/EC (OJ L 331, 15.12.2010, p. 48).
(3) Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Securities and Markets Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/77/EC (OJ L 331, 15.12.2010, p. 84).

Recital 8

The Union financial sector is regulated by a Single Rulebook and governed by a European system of financial supervision. Nonetheless, provisions tackling digital operational resilience and ICT security are not yet fully or consistently harmonised, despite digital operational resilience being vital for ensuring financial stability and market integrity in the digital age, and no less important than, for example, common prudential or market conduct standards. The Single Rulebook and system of supervision should therefore be developed to also cover digital operational resilience, by strengthening the mandates of competent authorities to enable them to supervise the management of ICT risk in the financial sector in order to protect the integrity and efficiency of the internal market, and to facilitate its orderly functioning.

Recital 9

Legislative disparities and uneven national regulatory or supervisory approaches with regard to ICT risk trigger obstacles to the functioning of the internal market in financial services, impeding the smooth exercise of the freedom of establishment and the provision of services for financial entities operating on a cross-border basis. Competition between the same type of financial entities operating in different Member States could also be distorted. This is the case, in particular, for areas where Union harmonisation has been very limited, such as digital operational resilience testing, or absent, such as the monitoring of ICT third-party risk. Disparities stemming from developments envisaged at national level could generate further obstacles to the functioning of the internal market to the detriment of market participants and financial stability.

Recital 10

To date, due to the ICT risk related provisions being only partially addressed at Union level, there are gaps or overlaps in important areas, such as ICT-related incident reporting and digital operational resilience testing, and inconsistencies as a result of emerging divergent national rules or cost-ineffective application of overlapping rules. This is particularly detrimental for an ICT-intensive user such as the financial sector since technology risks have no borders and the financial sector deploys its services on a wide cross-border basis within and outside the Union. Individual financial entities operating on a cross-border basis or holding several authorisations (e.g. one financial entity can have a banking, an investment firm, and a payment institution licence, each issued by a different competent authority in one or several Member States) face operational challenges in addressing ICT risk and mitigating adverse impacts of ICT incidents on their own and in a coherent cost-effective way.

Recital 11

As the Single Rulebook has not been accompanied by a comprehensive ICT or operational risk framework, further harmonisation of key digital operational resilience requirements for all financial entities is required. The development of ICT capabilities and overall resilience by financial entities, based on those key requirements, with a view to withstanding operational outages, would help preserve the stability and integrity of the Union financial markets and thus contribute to ensuring a high level of protection of investors and consumers in the Union. Since this Regulation aims to contribute to the smooth functioning of the internal market, it should be based on the provisions of Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) as interpreted in accordance with the consistent case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (Court of Justice).

Recital 12

This Regulation aims to consolidate and upgrade ICT risk requirements as part of the operational risk requirements that have, up to this point, been addressed separately in various Union legal acts. While those acts covered the main categories of financial risk (e.g. credit risk, market risk, counterparty credit risk and liquidity risk, market conduct risk), they did not comprehensively tackle, at the time of their adoption, all components of operational resilience. The operational risk rules, when further developed in those Union legal acts, often favoured a traditional quantitative approach to addressing risk (namely setting a capital requirement to cover ICT risk) rather than targeted qualitative rules for the protection, detection, containment, recovery and repair capabilities against ICT-related incidents, or for reporting and digital testing capabilities. Those acts were primarily meant to cover and update essential rules on prudential supervision, market integrity or conduct. By consolidating and upgrading the different rules on ICT risk, all provisions addressing digital risk in the financial sector should for the first time be brought together in a consistent manner in one single legislative act. Therefore, this Regulation fills in the gaps or remedies inconsistencies in some of the prior legal acts, including in relation to the terminology used therein, and explicitly refers to ICT risk via targeted rules on ICT risk-management capabilities, incident reporting, operational resilience testing and ICT third-party risk monitoring. This Regulation should thus also raise awareness of ICT risk and acknowledge that ICT incidents and a lack of operational resilience have the possibility to jeopardise the soundness of financial entities.

Recital 13

Financial entities should follow the same approach and the same principle-based rules when addressing ICT risk taking into account their size and overall risk profile, and the nature, scale and complexity of their services, activities and operations. Consistency contributes to enhancing confidence in the financial system and preserving its stability especially in times of high reliance on ICT systems, platforms and infrastructures, which entails increased digital risk. Observing basic cyber hygiene should also avoid imposing heavy costs on the economy by minimising the impact and costs of ICT disruptions.

Recital 14

A Regulation helps reduce regulatory complexity, fosters supervisory convergence and increases legal certainty, and also contributes to limiting compliance costs, especially for financial entities operating across borders, and to reducing competitive distortions. Therefore, the choice of a Regulation for the establishment of a common framework for the digital operational resilience of financial entities is the most appropriate way to guarantee a homogenous and coherent application of all components of ICT risk management by the Union financial sector.

Recital 15

Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1) was the first horizontal cybersecurity framework enacted at Union level, applying also to three types of financial entities, namely credit institutions, trading venues and central counterparties. However, since Directive (EU) 2016/1148 set out a mechanism of identification at national level of operators of essential services, only certain credit institutions, trading venues and central counterparties that were identified by the Member States, have been brought into its scope in practice, and hence required to comply with the ICT security and incident notification requirements laid down in it. Directive (EU) 2022/2555 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2) sets a uniform criterion to determine the entities falling within its scope of application (size-cap rule) while also keeping the three types of financial entities in its scope.

(1) Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union (OJ L 194, 19.7.2016, p. 1).
(2) Directive (EU) 2022/2555 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2022 on measures for a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union, amending Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 and Directive (EU) 2018/1972, and repealing Directive (EU) 2016/1148 (NIS 2 Directive) (see page 80 of this Official Journal).

Recital 16

However, as this Regulation increases the level of harmonisation of the various digital resilience components, by introducing requirements on ICT risk management and ICT-related incident reporting that are more stringent in comparison to those laid down in the current Union financial services law, this higher level constitutes an increased harmonisation also in comparison with the requirements laid down in Directive (EU) 2022/2555. Consequently, this Regulation constitutes lex specialis with regard to Directive (EU) 2022/2555. At the same time, it is crucial to maintain a strong relationship between the financial sector and the Union horizontal cybersecurity framework as currently laid out in Directive (EU) 2022/2555 to ensure consistency with the cyber security strategies adopted by Member States and to allow financial supervisors to be made aware of cyber incidents affecting other sectors covered by that Directive.

Recital 17

In accordance with Article 4(2) of the Treaty on European Union and without prejudice to the judicial review by the Court of Justice, this Regulation should not affect the responsibility of Member States with regard to essential State functions concerning public security, defence and the safeguarding of national security, for example concerning the supply of information which would be contrary to the safeguarding of national security.

Art. 2 DORA - Scope arrow_right_alt

Art. 3 DORA - Definitions arrow_right_alt

Art. 4 DORA - Proportionality principle arrow_right_alt