Bottoms Up: A Comparison Of “Voluntary” Cybersecurity Frameworks
Scott J. Shackelford
Scott Russell
Jeffrey Haut
Posted Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Although there is a spectrum of cybersecurity regulatory frameworks emerging around the world, ranging from more state-centric approaches to voluntary initiatives, more and more nations—including the United States—seem to be settling on a bottom-up approach to enhancing private-sector cybersecurity. Emblematic of this movement in the U.S. context is the 2014 National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework. This Framework, which is comprised partly of regularly updated cybersecurity best practices, has already been influential in shaping the field of cybersecurity due diligence not only in the United States, but also in nations ranging from Canada to India. However, there has not yet been a thorough examination of the similarities and differences between these various bottom-up approaches and the extent to which they are promoting the harmonization of cybersecurity best practices. This Article addresses this omission by investigating a subset of national approaches to cybersecurity policymaking highlighting the extent to which they are converging and diverging using the NIST Framework as a baseline for comparison. Such an understanding is vital not only to businesses operating across these jurisdictions, but also to policymakers seeking to leverage the expertise of the private sector in promoting cyber peace.