DORA Regulation Compliance in 30 Days: Leverage Modern Microsegmentation

Published June 26, 2024 by Jaz Fulton

What is the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA framework)? 

The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) is not just another legislative structure. It's a crucial step in the European Union's mission to protect the financial sector from escalating cyber threats. The DORA framework’s main aim is to bolster financial entities' operational resilience and information and communications technology (ICT) risk management (ICTRM) measures, ensuring they can withstand and recover from technological disruptions. The growing complexity of cyber-attacks and financial services' heavy reliance on digital infrastructure underscore the importance of this regulation, as recognized by the European Securities and Markets Authority. 

Attackers are progressively capitalizing on lateral movement within enterprise networks as cyber threats advance, posing significant challenges to third-party risk management, vital for complying with the European Union's guidelines on ICT third-party service providers. This technique allows malevolent attackers to traverse a network, transferring from one system to another after exploiting an initial access point.  

Why is DORA Being Implemented and Why is it Aimed at Financial Entities?

DORA's implementation directly reacts to the increasing variety of cyber threats targeting the financial industry. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF.org), the financial sector is an attractive target to hackers and has suffered over 20,000 cyberattacks over the past 20 years, resulting in over $12 billion in losses. 

Defending financial institutions is uniquely challenging, but it's bigger than the numbers. According to IMF, incidents in the financial sector could: 

  • Threatens financial and economic stability, possibly negatively affect confidence in the financial system 

  • Disrupt critical services, affect global economic activity 

Cyber incidents like the December attack on the Central Bank of Lesotho, which disrupted the national payment system, continue to show the need for technical standards, policies, and governance frameworks such as DORA to be adhered to. The EU's goal is to bolster operational resilience for the financial sector. 

Microsegmentation: The Game-Changing Answer to DORA  

In the complex world of cybersecurity, microsegmentation emerges as a game-changer. It enables organizations to control network traffic and isolate resources, reducing the risk of lateral movement by cyber threats. This approach aligns perfectly with DORA's objectives, offering an advanced solution for protecting financial institutions' network infrastructure. 

Microsegmentation is crucial for DORA compliance and cyber risk management. By dividing networks and devices into secure segments, it can completely halt lateral movement within a network.  

It also enhances incident response and precise access control, allowing quick detection and isolation of compromised assets for swift responses to ICT-related incidents in the financial services domain. 

Additionally, microsegmentation is vital for digital operational resilience testing. It safely replicates cyberattacks on isolated networks, helping organizations assess vulnerabilities and resilience without risking the overall network. 

Adopting microsegmentation helps financial institutions meet DORA standards and strengthen cybersecurity. This proactive approach lays the foundation for a secure digital future. Integrating microsegmentation into cybersecurity frameworks aligns with principles of least privilege and stringent access control, supporting a zero-trust model. This ensures institutions are well-prepared for current and future cyber threats. 

How to Implement Microsegmentation and Get DORA Compliant in 30 Days  

Senior executives working in the financial sector must ensure compliance with DORA and many other regulations by January 2025. Microsegmentation restricts the lateral movement of threats and localizes vulnerabilities, making it a critical piece of a DORA-compliant security architecture for ICT third-party and financial services compliance. But organizations can’t afford a long-term, profoundly complex implementation to meet DORA’s date and fend off hefty fines.

Download the Step-By-Step DORA Compliance Playbook here →

The Zero Networks platform offers a complete solution that meets DORA’s requirements in just four simple steps and can be implemented within 30 days. Here's how it works: 

  1. We deploy a virtual appliance to remotely manage the host-OS firewall of every machine in your network, microsegmenting them without needing agents. 

  1. Over 30 days, it monitors and learns all network connections. 

  1. It then creates accurate firewall rules and policies to allow legitimate traffic without disrupting users. 

  1. It applies just-in-time MFA to privileged remote admin protocols like RDP, SSH, or WinRM, which are often exploited by attackers for lateral movement. 

Our team is ready to help you get DORA compliant – especially within the financial services sector. Schedule some time to see the Zero platform for yourself. Busy? See what our customers have to say: