You don’t have to be a certified IT professional to get an information assurance (IA) job in the Department of Defense (DoD). But to keep your IA job, certification is a must.
According to Directive 8570.1 IA Training, Certification and Workforce Management, and its accompanying IA Workforce Improvement Program (IA WIP) manual — which outlines the organization’s IA workforce improvement program policy and procedures — any person charged with securing information must obtain an approved commercial certification from certification providers such as ISACA, CompTIA and (ISC)2.
The DoD falls under the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and personnel performing IA functions on DoD workstations and systems are the first line of defense against threats from hackers and cyberterrorists. Thus, IA awareness, technical training and education and workforce management are important not just for the operation and maintenance of the various IT systems within the DoD — IA is important for safety nationwide.
To help strengthen and build the military services and DoD components, the different service bodies collaborated and contributed subject-matter expertise to create a strategy that would address the training needs for the roughly 90,000 military, civilian and contract workers who deal with IA.
Certification played a key role in this process. But when the groups began to certify their people and explore the best way to extend certification across the DoD organization, they ran into a few problems. One was that there was no clear definition of what certification meant. To help solve this and…
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