• ISO55001 Asset Management
    System (AMS)
  • ISO9001 Quality Management
    Systems (QMS)
  • ISO14001 Environmental Management
    Systems (EMS)
  • ISO50001 Energy Management
    Systems (EnMS)
  • ISO45001 Health & Safety Management
    Systems (OHASMS)
  • ISO27001 Information security
    management systems (ISMS)

DORA Compliance: ISO 27001 Roadmap for Business Resilliance

04 May 2024

The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA), an ambitious regulation by the European Commission, seeks to fortify the financial sector against IT disruptions by enhancing operational resilience. This is particularly pertinent for banking, financial, and insurance entities, as well as other organizations providing ICT-related services who must comply by January 2025 123456. ISO 27001, the international standard for information security management, plays a crucial role in achieving compliance, by emphasizing risk management and the establishment of an Information Security Management System (ISMS) 13456.

In navigating the path to DORA compliance, businesses can address the integration of ISO 27001’s information security measures with DORA’s critical components including risk management, incident reporting, and third-party risk management among others 1356. This dual focus ensures not only the security of sensitive information but also builds a robust foundation for operational resilience, fulfilling requirements of DORA’s objectives and compliance requisites effectively.

Understanding DORA

Pillars and Requirements of DORA

  1. Five Pillars of DORA
    DORA is structured around five critical pillars which include ICT Risk Management, ICT-Related Incident Management, Digital Operational Resilience Testing, Managing ICT Third-Party Risk, and Information Sharing. These pillars are designed to enhance the operational resilience of financial entities 12.
  2. ICT Risk Management Practices
    Financial institutions are required to develop robust ICT risk management practices. This involves identifying, assessing, and mitigating any ICT-related risks that could potentially threaten their operational resilience 7.
  3. Incident Response and Reporting
    DORA mandates prompt and accurate incident reporting. Institutions must have mechanisms in place for the timely detection and reporting of ICT-related incidents to maintain system integrity and resilience 7.
  4. Operational Resilience Testing
    Institutions must regularly conduct resilience testing to assess the effectiveness of their systems, processes, and controls across various scenarios. This helps in identifying vulnerabilities and implementing necessary improvements 7.
  5. Managing ICT Third-Party Risks
    Effective monitoring and management of ICT third-party risks are crucial. This includes conducting due diligence on third-party providers, ensuring contractual agreements cover cybersecurity and operational resilience, and setting up ongoing monitoring and oversight mechanisms 7.
  6. Harmonization Across EU
    DORA aims to harmonize operational resilience requirements across EU member states, fostering a level playing field and enhancing the financial system’s overall resilience 7.
  7. Scope and Application
    The regulation applies to a wide range of financial entities including credit institutions, investment firms, and market operators, and also covers critical third parties providing ICT-related services 9.
  8. Oversight and Enforcement
    DORA establishes a comprehensive oversight framework for critical ICT third-party service providers and includes provisions for cooperation among competent authorities, along with rules on supervision and enforcement 9.

By understanding these facets of DORA, financial institutions can better prepare for compliance, ensuring they meet the stringent requirements set forth to fortify their operational resilience and security measures.

The Role of ISO27001 in Achieving DORA Compliance

ISO27001, an internationally recognized standard for information security management, aligns closely with the objectives of the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) by providing a framework that financial institutions can adopt to enhance their operational resilience and comply with regulatory requirements 17. Here is a detailed breakdown of how ISO27001 facilitates DORA compliance:

Proportionality and Risk Management

  • Adaptability of ISO27001: The standard supports the proportionality principle of DORA, allowing financial entities to tailor their Information Security Management System (ISMS) to the size and complexity of their operations, which is essential for managing ICT risks effectively 1.
  • Risk-Based Approach: ISO27001 encourages a risk-based approach to security, requiring organizations to identify, assess, and treat security risks, which aligns with DORA’s ICT Risk Management requirements 2.

Enhancing ICT Risk Management

  • Systematic Security Measures: By implementing ISO27001, organizations establish robust security controls that protect against information security threats, thus supporting DORA’s mandate for strong ICT risk management practices 2.
  • Certification Benefits: Achieving ISO27001 certification demonstrates a firm’s commitment to security best practices, which can significantly aid in complying with DORA’s stringent requirements 7.

Addressing Gaps with Complementary Standards

  • Integration with ISO22301: While ISO27001 focuses on information security, integrating it with ISO22301, which covers business continuity management, provides a comprehensive approach to achieving DORA compliance. This integration ensures that financial institutions are prepared not only for information security incidents but also for broader operational disruptions 1.
  • Custom Controls for Penetration Testing: Although ISO27001 does not explicitly require penetration testing, organizations have the flexibility to add this control, enhancing their defense mechanisms against ICT-related incidents, which is a critical aspect of DORA compliance 1.

By aligning ISO27001’s framework with DORA’s requirements, financial institutions can effectively address the challenges of digital operational resilience, ensuring that they not only comply with regulatory standards but also protect their operations from various ICT risks.

Challenges in Aligning ISO27001 with DORA

Executive Accountability and Understanding

DORA regulation emphasizes the significant role of top management in overseeing operational resilience, requiring them to monitor, approve, review, and set the direction for these initiatives 3. This places a substantial responsibility on executives to have a comprehensive understanding of DORA’s requirements and their roles in compliance 4. Aligning this with ISO27001 can be challenging as it necessitates a shift in executive training and awareness to cover the specifics of DORA alongside the existing ISMS frameworks.

Supplier Compliance Requirements

ISO27001 primarily focuses on internal information security management, whereas DORA extends the compliance requirements to include suppliers and third-party service providers 5. Financial institutions must ensure their suppliers adhere to DORA’s operational resilience standards, which may require significant changes in supplier management and contract adjustments 5. This alignment challenge involves redefining business interactions and implementing a proactive operational resilience risk management strategy that includes all parties 6.

Regular Testing and Updates

Both ISO27001 and DORA require regular testing to ensure the effectiveness of security measures and resilience strategies 7[18]. However, DORA mandates specific threat-led penetration testing in live production environments at least once every three years, including tests with ICT third-party providers, which might not be explicitly covered under ISO27001 8. Aligning these testing requirements can be complex, involving extensive updates to existing frameworks and the development of new procedures that meet DORA’s stringent standards [10][19].

Incident Management and Reporting

DORA’s focus on detailed incident management and reporting processes requires financial institutions to establish robust mechanisms for accurate and timely reporting [11][12]. This includes setting up clear procedures and systems, which may need to be integrated with ISO27001’s incident response frameworks. The challenge lies in ensuring these systems are compliant with both standards, facilitating seamless incident handling and reporting without compromising the security protocols established by ISO27001 [13][14].

Continuous Compliance and Monitoring

Achieving compliance with DORA is not a one-time effort but requires ongoing commitment and monitoring to adapt to evolving regulations and threats [16]. Organizations must implement robust systems to continuously track compliance and performance, which may go beyond the periodic review requirements of ISO27001 [17]. Developing a detailed compliance roadmap that aligns with both ISO27001 and DORA, and that addresses continuous improvement and adaptation, presents a significant alignment challenge [15].


Through the examination of ISO 27001 in conjunction with the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA), this article has articulated a comprehensive roadmap for businesses, particularly within the financial sector, to achieve compliance and bolster operational resilience. By aligning the information security management and business continuity frameworks outlined by ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 with DORA’s rigorous requirements, organizations can establish a robust defense against ICT disruptions. This not only encompasses the management of information security risks but also extends to ensuring the continuous operation of critical business functions, further highlighting the importance of a preemptive and adaptive approach towards operational resilience.

Moreover, the integration of these standards assists organizations in meeting not just the current regulatory requirements but also prepares them for future amendments and challenges, given DORA’s evolving nature. The continuous improvement cycle incentivized by ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 fosters an environment of perpetual preparedness, essential for navigating the complexities of digital operational resilience. As the deadline for DORA compliance approaches, the significance of possessing a well-defined, executable plan cannot be overstated. For organizations looking to assess their readiness and identify any gaps in compliance, get in touch and book your gap analysis. This proactive measure ensures that your institution not only aligns with today’s regulatory landscape but is also equipped to adapt to tomorrow’s challenges, securing a competitive edge in an increasingly digitalized world.


What does it mean to be ISO 27001 compliant? ISO 27001 compliance refers to meeting the international standard for information security, which involves establishing an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS).

Can you explain what DORA compliance entails? DORA compliance relates to ensuring the cyber resilience of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems. It requires annual resiliency and vulnerability assessments by independent parties, regular threat-led penetration testing, and the implementation of comprehensive, risk-based protective measures.

Could you list the five main components of DORA? The five pillars of DORA compliance are:

  1. ICT Risk Management, which is fundamental to DORA’s objectives.
  2. ICT-Related Incident Reporting, to keep track of security events.
  3. Digital Operational Resilience Testing, to ensure systems can withstand and recover from disruptions.
  4. Management of ICT Third-Party Risk, to oversee risks from external service providers.
  5. Information and Intelligence Sharing, to promote collaboration and awareness about cyber threats.

What are the steps involved in achieving ISO 27001 certification? The six stages of the ISO 27001 certification process are:

  1. Assign roles within your organization and prepare your team for the certification process.
  2. Define the scope of your ISMS to know the boundaries of the system.
  3. Assess your current security position to understand where improvements are needed.
  4. Implement necessary security controls and document your policies.
  5. Train your internal team on the ISMS and related security practices.
  6. Collect evidence and prepare the necessary documentation for the audit process.


[1] – https://www.itgovernance.eu/blog/en/simplifying-dora-compliance-with-iso-27001
[2] – https://www.centraleyes.com/achieving-dora-compliance-in-your-organization/
[3] – https://www.riskcrew.com/2024/04/an-overview-of-the-digital-operational-resilience-act-dora/
[4] – https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/eu-digital-operational-resilience-act
[5] – https://www.isms.online/cyber-security/get-ready-for-the-digital-operational-resilience-act/
[6] – https://yogosha.com/blog/dora-compliance-guide-digital-operational-resilience-act/
[7] – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/digital-operational-resilience-act-dora-isoiec-270012022
[8] – https://www.eiopa.europa.eu/digital-operational-resilience-act-dora_en
[9] – https://www.digital-operational-resilience-act.com/


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