By Michael Hardy
Nov. 16, 2006
Contractors who are serious about getting Defense Department contracts
should make sure now that their employees who have information assurance
roles meet the standards set by DOD Directive 8570.1, according to
panelists who spoke this morning at an Information Technology
Association of America event.
"There's not a downside to contractors being certified," said Phyllis
Scott, president of training firm TTSC. Contracts will require it, and
contractors who are already certified will have an immediate advantage,
DOD approved the directives proposal to train and certify at least
80,000 department employees in four years in December 2005. The
directive applies to every aspect of DOD -- military, agencies and
contractors. It divides positions into technical or management, and
applies different standards to each group, further subdivided by tiers.
Like DOD, contractors have to assess their organizations to identify the
individuals and positions that should be working to meet the directive,
Scott said. Assessing the positions is an important aspect, she added.
Some positions are primarily concerned with information assurance and
are obvious targets for training and certification. But others are more
peripherally connected. They may also need to be given to certified
In some cases, Scott said, managers may find such embedded positions
that could easily be redefined. "Maybe we need to rethink how we're
doing those positions," she said. "That's where we can really manage our
Shelley Morris, a vice president at training firm New Horizons, told
managers to look for what's already there. Some employees may already
have certifications -- or be working toward them -- that fulfill the
directive. When managers find a need for training, much of it is
available commercially and need not be custom-designed.
The required certifications include common ones such as the Computing
Technology Industry Association's Network+ and the International
Information Systems Security Certification Consortium's Certified
Information Systems Security Professional. The directive includes a
matrix showing which certifications apply to each position. DOD
components can choose one of the approved certifications to serve as
their standard for each category and level.
In many cases, employees may have some but not all of the training they
need to earn the certifications. "If your folks have pieces and parts of
the knowledge needed for certification, you can put together something
custom" to fill in the gaps, she said.
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