DoD Directive 8570

Definition of DoD Directive 8570

DoD Directive 8570, also known as the Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program, is a policy issued by the United States Department of Defense (DoD). It establishes the necessary training, certification, and management requirements for personnel performing information assurance (IA) or cybersecurity functions within the DoD. The primary objective of this directive is to ensure all relevant personnel possess the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to effectively secure DoD information, networks, and systems.


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Key Takeaways

  1. DoD Directive 8570 establishes the baseline requirements for Information Assurance (IA) workforce training, certification, and management across the Department of Defense, ensuring a uniform approach to securing its information systems.
  2. The directive classifies IA personnel into various categories and levels, defining their roles and responsibilities ranging from system administrators to security managers, and requires them to obtain certifications accredited by ANSI/ISO/IEC Standard 17024.
  3. DoD 8570 mandates continuous monitoring and annual reporting of IA workforce compliance, ensuring that personnel stay current with their training and certification requirements to effectively protect the Department’s critical information systems and infrastructure.

Importance of DoD Directive 8570

The term DoD Directive 8570 is important because it refers to a policy established by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to ensure that its personnel and contractors possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and qualifications to effectively manage and protect information systems and networks.

This directive, formally known as DoD Directive 8570.01-M, mandates that individuals involved in information assurance roles must receive proper training and attain specific certifications according to their job functions.

This standardization promotes the security and reliability of the DoD’s information technology infrastructure while minimizing risks associated with inadequately trained personnel, hence playing a critical role in safeguarding national security interests.


The Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 8570 serves a crucial purpose in enabling the consistent development and maintenance of the information assurance (IA) workforce within the Department. The directive’s primary goal is to assure that the personnel handling sensitive information systems are adequately trained, certified, and competent in their roles.

It facilitates and necessitates the management of cybersecurity skills to manage and protect critical DoD information, networks, and systems by outlining the mandatory levels of training, certification, and accountability for individuals engaging in these roles. Fundamentally, DoD Directive 8570 is a framework for the establishment of robust cybersecurity practices within the Department.

This framework not only ensures that personnel who operate and protect the DoD’s vital information systems have met standardized proficiency requirements, but also promotes ongoing professional development opportunities for them. By achieving this, the DoD Directive 8570 systematically strengthens the overall cybersecurity posture of the Department of Defense and mitigates potential threats and vulnerabilities in an increasingly dynamic and sophisticated cyber landscape.

The directive ultimately serves as a cornerstone in maintaining the resilience and integrity of DoD’s information technology ecosystem.

Examples of DoD Directive 8570

DoD Directive 8570, also known as the Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program, establishes guidelines and procedures for the training, certification, and management of all Department of Defense (DoD) employees who perform information assurance functions in their line of duty. Here are three real-world examples related to the implementation of this directive:

Training and Certification of Military Personnel: Under DoD Directive 8570, military personnel responsible for information assurance are required to undergo proper training and obtain industry-standard certifications, such as CompTIA Security+, Network+, or CISSP, depending on their level of responsibility. This ensures that military personnel are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to handle cybersecurity threats, protect sensitive information, and maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information systems they manage.

DoD Contractor Compliance: DoD Directive 8570 does not only apply to military personnel; it also extends to contractors who work with the Department of Defense and handle sensitive information. Contractors are required to meet the same certification requirements, ensuring that anyone handling DoD information systems, regardless of their employment status, is well-versed in information security best practices.

Continuous Education and Skill Development: One of the core aims of the DoD Directive 8570 is to ensure the continuous growth and improvement of the Information Assurance workforce within the DoD. The directive encourages information assurance professionals to continuously update their skills, knowledge, and certifications, helping the DoD stay up to date with the latest advancements in cybersecurity and information assurance. This continuous improvement in skillsets helps to defend against evolving cyber threats and maintain a high standard of security within military information systems.

FAQ Section for DoD Directive 8570

What is DoD Directive 8570?

DoD Directive 8570, also known as the Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program, is a directive that provides guidance and procedures for the training, certification, and management of the Department of Defense (DoD) workforce conducting information assurance functions in their assigned positions.

Who must comply with DoD Directive 8570?

All full-time and part-time military service members, contractors, and local nationals who perform information assurance tasks in the Department of Defense are required to comply with DoD Directive 8570. This includes personnel working in any information assurance role at any level.

What are the certification requirements for DoD Directive 8570?

DoD Directive 8570 specifies that personnel performing information assurance tasks must obtain one of the approved certifications for their respective job categories and levels. The directive divides the information assurance workforce into several categories, such as Information Assurance Technical (IAT), Information Assurance Management (IAM), and Information Assurance System Architect and Engineer (IASAE), with different certification requirements for each category.

How often do employees need to renew their certification?

According to the DoD 8570 directive, personnel must renew their certification every three years. They can either retake the certification exam or complete sufficient continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain their certification status.

What happens if an employee does not meet the DoD 8570 requirements?

If an employee does not meet the requirements of DoD Directive 8570, they may be denied access to DoD information systems and could face additional corrective actions, such as reassignment, loss of funding, or even dismissal, depending on the situation.

How can I find out more about DoD Directive 8570?

More information about DoD Directive 8570 can be found on the official DoD Cyber Exchange website or through your organization’s information assurance office, which can provide additional guidance on training, certification, and compliance requirements.

Related Technology Terms

  • Cybersecurity Workforce
  • Information Assurance (IA)
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
  • Information System Security Manager (ISSM)

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