If you’re confused about U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) directives 8140, 8570, and 8570.01-M, don’t worry! You’re not alone. These directives may seem confusing, but they’re actually pretty easy to understand.

For those who are interested in information technology, DoD 8140 is actually a huge opportunity. As the DoD increases its focus on cyber security, thousands of jobs for trained individuals will be created. And in the coming years, many other organizations and businesses are likely to follow the DoD’s lead and begin requiring similar certifications for their employees to help ensure their information security.

DoD 8570 Compliance

DoD 8570 (technically 8570.1) compliance is required of all authorized users of DoD information systems, including military service members, contractors, and government employees. If you’ve been searching for cyber security jobs, chances are you’ve seen a listing with DoD 8570 compliance requirements.

Signed August 15, 2004, DoD 8570 is a directive which requires American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited certification for information assurance workers. You can achieve compliance by achieving specific IT certifications. DoD 8570 established three levels of certification requirements for Information Assurance Management (IAM) and Information Assurance Technicians (IAT). IAM roles are typically in a management or leadership position, whereas IAT roles are actively working with controlled information or on the networks that carry it. If you want to qualify for DoD Information Assurance jobs, you must obtain one of the certifications required for that position category or specialty and level.

DoD 8570 Certifications Table

DoD 8140: A New Focus on Cyber Security

Recently, officials realized there was a need to change the way the DoD handled information and network security. Changes in those technologies since 2004 and an increase in cyber attacks were the driving force behind this new directive. On August 11, 2015, the 8140 DoD directive was signed by representatives of the U.S. Department of Defense. Because of this change of focus, the “Information Assurance (IA) Workforce” has been renamed to the “Cybersecurity Workforce.”

DoD 8140 confirms the importance of popular IT certifications like A+, Network+, Security+, and CISSP as well as adding new approved baseline cyber security certifications including CASP, CEH, and more.

So is DoD 8570 really gone?

Not exactly. DoD Directive 8140 “reissues, renumbers, and cancels DoD Directive (DoDD) 8570.01 to update and expand established policies and assigned responsibilities for managing the DoD cyberspace workforce” according to the Information Assurance Support Environment site. Despite this, DoD 8140 currently uses the DoD 8570 manual.

DoD 8140 will eventually have its own manual, but it takes a few years to create complex manuals like this. For this reason, the DoD will continue using the 8570 manual, called 8570.01-M, for the time being. When a new manual is released for 8140 it will most likely replace 8570.01-M.

One of the major changes that DoD 8140 will bring about once its new manual is released is more of a focus on training that includes live, hands-on exercises. The DoD wanted to make sure that the certifications required for the Cybersecurity Workforce give their holders not just the knowledge, but also the know-how to defend the United States’ networks, digital assets, and information.

How might DoD 8140 affect you?

For many IT professionals, and those interested in IT, this presents a huge opportunity. With the DoD’s increased focus on cybersecurity, certified individuals are in high demand. DoD contractors operate all over the United States and even abroad, which makes it easy to take your credentials just about anywhere and get hired.

For those who are serving in the military, DoD 8140 (and 8570 before it) provides a way to gain valuable experience that translates directly into a lucrative civilian career. If you can work in the Cybersecurity Workforce during your service, you’ll come out of your military career with military clearance and certifications that will give you a huge head start in the civilian world.

For training companies (like LeaderQuest) and certification vendors alike, DoD 8140 is a huge call to action. This directive has made the importance of hands-on training and “live-fire drills” very clear. As a cyber security training company, we want to make sure that you’re well prepared to use your skills in the real world, and not leaving with just “book learning.”

Are you interested in joining the Cybersecurity Workforce?

There’s never been a better time to train in cyber security, whether or not you’re interested in working for the DoD. This industry currently has a huge shortage of qualified workers. In the U.S. alone, over 40,000 jobs for information security analysts are going unfilled every year, and employers are struggling to fill 200,000 other cyber security related roles, according to CyberSeek. With demand for these professionals at record levels, you can be sure that getting certified will pay off in spades.

The LeaderQuest cyber security school offers high-velocity IT training programs that can help you complete your information security certifications and be job-ready in weeks. Day and night class schedules make it easy for you to get the training you need fast in a way that works with your schedule. You won’t leave LeaderQuest with just a piece of paper. Our industry-expert instructors will make sure you have the knowledge you need to excel in a new job role, whether it’s through DoD 8570 or not.

Get started today, and make your new career a reality!