Infographic comparing the key aspects of DORA, GDPR, NIS2 and CER EU directives and regulations.

In the evolving regulatory landscape, organizations operating within the EU must navigate through a complex web of regulations and directives, including NIS2 (Network & Information System) Directive, CER (Critical Entities Resilience) Directive, DORA (Digital Operational Resilience Act) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Each of these frameworks has a distinct focus, from enhancing cybersecurity and operational resilience to protecting personal data and ensuring the resilience of critical entities.

This guide outlines the essential aspects of DORA (EU) 2022/2554, GDPR (EU) 2016/679, NIS2 (EU) 2022/2555 directive and the CER/RCE (EU) 2022/2557 directive, including their scope, objectives, key requirements, sanctions for non-compliance, implementation deadlines, technical and organizational measures, key differences and compliance intersections.

Scope and Applicability

  • NIS2 (Network & Information System) Directive : Applies to essential and important entities across various sectors expanding the scope of its predecessor, the NIS Directive.
  • Essential entities include sectors such as energy (including electricity, oil, and gas), transport (air, rail, water and road), banking, financial market infrastructures, health care, drinking water, wastewater, and digital infrastructure. Essential entities are those whose disruption would cause significant impacts on public safety, security, or economic or societal activities.
  • Important Entities covers postal and courier services, waste management, manufacture, production and distribution of chemicals, food production, distribution and sale, manufacturing of medical devices, computers and electronics, machinery equipment, motor vehicles, digital providers such as online marketplaces, online search engines, and social networking services platforms, and certain entities within the public administration sector.
  • DORA (Digital Operational Resilience Act): Specifically focuses on the resilience of the financial sector to ICT risks, encompassing a wide range of entities that play pivotal roles in the financial ecosystem. This includes credit institutions, investment firms, insurance and reinsurance companies, payment institutions, electronic money institutions, crypto-asset service providers, central securities depositories, central counterparties, trading venues, managers of alternative investment funds and management companies of undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS). Additionally, it covers ICT third-party service providers to these financial entities, emphasizing the importance of digital operational resilience not just within financial entities themselves but also within their extended digital supply chains.
  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation): Has a global reach, affecting any organization that processes personal data of EU citizens, focusing on data protection and privacy regardless of the sector.
  • CER (Critical Entities Resilience) Directive: Aims to enhance the resilience of critical entities operating in vital sectors such as energy, transport, banking, financial market infrastructure, health, drinking water, waste water, public administration, space, digital infrastructure, production, processing and distribution of food sector within the EU.


  • NIS2 Directive: Seeks to significantly raise cybersecurity standards and improve incident response capabilities across the EU.
  • DORA: Ensures that the financial sector can withstand, respond to, and recover from ICT-related disruptions and threats.
  • GDPR: Protects EU citizens’ personal data, ensuring privacy and giving individuals control over their personal information.
  • CER Directive: Focuses on enhancing the overall resilience of entities that are critical to the maintenance of vital societal or economic activities against a range of non-cyber and cyber threats.

Key Requirements

  • NIS2 Directive: Mandates robust risk management measures, timely incident reporting, supply chain security and resilience testing among affected entities.
  • DORA: Requires financial entities to establish comprehensive ICT risk management frameworks, report significant ICT-related incidents, conduct resilience testing and manage risks related to third-party ICT service providers.
  • GDPR: Enforces principles such as lawful processing, data minimization and transparency; upholds data subjects’ rights; mandates data breach notifications; and requires data protection measures to be embedded in business processes.
  • CER Directive: Calls for national risk assessments, enhanced security measures, incident notification, and crisis management for critical entities, ensuring they can maintain essential services under adverse conditions.

Sanctions and Penalties

  • NIS2 Directive: The directive suggests Member States ensure that penalties for non-compliance are effective, proportionate, and dissuasive, but does not specify amounts, leaving it to individual Member States to set.
  • DORA: Specific sanctions and penalties are not detailed, implying that penalties would be defined at the Member State level or in subsequent regulatory guidance.
  • GDPR: Known for its strict penalties, organizations can face fines up to €20 million or 4% of their total global turnover, whichever is higher.
  • CER Directive: Similar to NIS2, the CER Directive leaves the specifics of sanctions and penalties to Member States, emphasizing the need for them to be effective, proportionate, and dissuasive.

Implementation Deadline Date

  • NIS2 Directive: Member States are required to transpose and apply the measures of the NIS2 Directive by 18 October 2024 .
  • DORA: The regulation will become applicable from 17 January 2025, marking the deadline for entities within the financial sector to comply with its requirements .
  • GDPR: This regulation has been in effect since 25 May 2018, requiring immediate compliance from the effective date.
  • CER Directive: Similar to NIS2, the CER Directive must be transposed and applied by Member States by 18 October 2024 .

Key Differences

While NIS2, DORA, GDPR and CER directives and regulations share common goals related to security and privacy, they differ significantly in their primary focus and applicability:

  • NIS2 Directive primarily enhances cybersecurity across various critical sectors, emphasizing sector-specific risk management and incident reporting.
  • DORA focuses on the financial sector’s digital operational resilience, detailing ICT risk management and third-party risk, specific to financial services.
  • GDPR is dedicated to personal data protection, granting extensive rights to individuals regarding their data, applicable across all sectors.
  • CER Directive aims to ensure the resilience of entities vital for societal and economic well-being, focusing on both cyber and physical resilience measures.

Overlapping Areas

Despite their differences, these frameworks overlap in several key areas, allowing for synergistic compliance efforts:

  • Risk Management: NIS2, DORA and the CER Directive all emphasize robust risk management, albeit with different focal points (cybersecurity, ICT and critical entity resilience, respectively).
  • Incident Reporting: NIS2 and DORA require incident reporting within their respective domains, which can streamline processes for entities covered by both.
  • Data Protection Measures: GDPR’s data protection principles can complement the cybersecurity measures under NIS2 and CER, enhancing overall data security.

Incident Response and Recovery

  • NIS2 Directive: Requires entities to have incident response capabilities in place, ensuring timely detection, analysis, and response to incidents. It emphasizes the need for recovery plans to restore services after an incident.
  • DORA: Mandates financial entities to establish and implement an incident management process capable of responding swiftly to ICT-related incidents, including recovery objectives, restoration of systems, and lessons learned activities.
  • GDPR: While not explicitly detailing incident response processes, GDPR mandates notification of personal data breaches to supervisory authorities and, in certain cases, to the affected individuals, highlighting the need for an effective response mechanism.
  • CER Directive: Stresses the importance of having incident response plans, ensuring critical entities can quickly respond to and recover from disruptive incidents, maintaining essential services.

Technical and Organizational Measures

  • NIS2 Directive: Entities should incorporate state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions like advanced threat detection systems, comprehensive data encryption, secure network configurations and regular security assessments to safeguard sensitive information. Additional technical measures might include continuous monitoring and anomaly detection systems to identify suspicious activities in real time, and the implementation of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems and next-generation firewalls (NGFWs). Organizational strategies involve establishing a robust cybersecurity governance framework, conducting frequent cybersecurity awareness training, and formulating clear policies for effective incident response and thorough business continuity planning.
  • DORA: For compliance with DORA, financial entities are advised to utilize secure communication protocols and robust encryption for protecting data during transmission and storage, supplemented by multi-factor authentication systems to enhance access security. Additional technical measures could involve the deployment of advanced cybersecurity tools like Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems for integrated threat analysis and response, and next-generation firewalls (NGFWs). On the organizational front, setting up a dedicated ICT risk management team, clearly defining cybersecurity roles, and embedding cybersecurity risk considerations into the overarching risk management framework are essential.
  • GDPR: In alignment with GDPR, technical safeguards such as strong data encryption, pseudonymization of personal data where feasible, and stringent access control mechanisms are pivotal. Expanding on these, additional technical measures may include the use of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools to prevent unauthorized data disclosure or loss and employing regular penetration testing to identify and rectify vulnerabilities. Organizational measures encompass the implementation of comprehensive data protection policies, conducting DPIAs for high-risk data processing activities, and appointing a Data Protection Officer in specific scenarios to oversee data protection strategies and compliance.
  • CER Directive: Adhering to the CER Directive involves applying network segmentation to isolate and protect critical systems, utilizing intrusion detection and prevention systems, and ensuring resilient data backup and recovery strategies. Enhancing these measures, technical strategies could also include the deployment of next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) and the use of automated patch management systems to ensure timely application of security updates. Organizational approaches include developing a detailed incident management plan, establishing a dedicated crisis management team, and conducting regular resilience testing and drills to validate and improve recovery processes.

Compliance Intersections and Synergies

While each framework has its unique focus, there are notable intersections, particularly in the areas of risk management, incident reporting, and the overarching emphasis on security and resilience. For instance, the risk management strategies advocated by NIS2 and the CER Directive can complement the ICT risk management framework of DORA. GDPR’s requirement for data protection by design and default can also support the cybersecurity measures outlined in NIS2 and CER, promoting a secure and privacy-focused operational environment. Furthermore, the incident reporting mechanisms mandated by both NIS2 and DORA underscore a shared commitment to transparency and accountability in the face of security incidents, which can drive improvements in organizational responses to breaches, including those involving personal data under GDPR. This alignment not only streamlines compliance processes but also fortifies the organization’s overall security framework, enhancing its ability to protect against and respond to cyber threats and operational disruptions. By recognizing and acting upon these synergies, organizations can more effectively allocate resources, avoid duplicative efforts, and foster a culture of continuous improvement in cybersecurity and data protection practices.


Understanding the nuances and requirements of NIS2, DORA, GDPR, and the CER Directive is crucial for organizations operating within the EU, especially those that fall under the scope of multiple frameworks. By recognizing the overlaps and leveraging synergies between these regulations and directives, organizations can streamline their compliance efforts, enhance their operational resilience and data protection measures, and contribute to a safer, more secure digital and physical environment within the EU. This integrated approach not only ensures regulatory compliance but also builds a strong foundation of trust with customers, stakeholders, and regulatory bodies.

For streamlined compliance with EU directives like NIS2, DORA and GDPR, Nebosystems offers expert services tailored to your needs. Learn more about our cybersecurity solutions or get in touch directly.


NIS2 (Network & Information System) Directive (EU) 2022/2555. EUR-Lex.

General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679. EUR-Lex.

Digital Operational Resilience Act (EU) 2022/2554. EUR-Lex.

Critical Entities Resilience Directive (EU) 2022/2557. EUR-Lex.