RFI Cybersecurity Regulatory Harmonization

Today, the White House Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) is announcing a request for information (RFI) on cybersecurity regulatory harmonization and regulatory reciprocity. The  RFI builds on the commitment the Administration made in the National Cybersecurity Strategy to “harmonize not only regulations and rules, but also assessments and audits of regulated  entities.” The RFI advances one of the 69 initiatives that were released last week as part of the  National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan. 

When cybersecurity regulations of the same underlying technology are inconsistent or  contradictory – or where they are duplicative but enforced differently by different regulators – consumers pay more, and our national security suffers. Duplicative regulation leads to  companies focusing more on compliance than on security, which results in their passing higher  costs on to customers, working families, and state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments.  Harmonizing baseline regulatory requirements can therefore produce better security outcomes at  lower costs.  

ONCD is seeking input from stakeholders to understand existing challenges with regulatory  overlap and inconsistency in order to explore a framework for reciprocal recognition by  regulators of compliance with common baseline cybersecurity requirements. Unlike many other  fields, at a technical level, the cybersecurity of one sector is inherently similar to the  cybersecurity of other sectors. While regulated sectors may engage in distinct activities, they  often use the same software, hardware, and information and communications technology and  services to enable interconnectivity or automation. The technological commonalities also mean  that baseline risk mitigation measures are likely to be common among entities and sectors. 

The RFI can be found at the link above, on Regulations.gov, and in the Federal Register. Responses  are due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on October 31, 2023.

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