DoDD 8140 explained

DoDD 8140: The Definitive Guide to Cybersecurity Workforce Development

4 min read ยท Dec. 6, 2023
Table of contents


In the dynamic landscape of cybersecurity, organizations face constant threats from cybercriminals and nation-state actors. To counter these threats, a highly skilled and well-trained cybersecurity workforce is essential. The Department of Defense Directive 8140 (DoDD 8140) serves as a comprehensive framework for developing and managing the cybersecurity workforce within the United States Department of Defense (DoD). This article explores the origins, purpose, components, and relevance of DoDD 8140 in the context of InfoSec or Cybersecurity.

Origins and Background

DoDD 8140, also known as the "Cybersecurity Workforce Framework," was established by the U.S. Department of Defense in August 2015. It replaced the previous directive, DoD 8570, and aimed to address the evolving challenges and requirements of the cybersecurity landscape.

The directive was developed in response to the growing cyber threats faced by the U.S. and the need for a standardized approach to cybersecurity workforce development. DoDD 8140 aligns with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This alignment ensures consistency and compatibility between the DoD and the broader cybersecurity community.

Purpose and Objectives

The primary purpose of DoDD 8140 is to establish policies and procedures for the training, certification, and management of the DoD's cybersecurity workforce. Its objectives include:

  1. Defining the roles and responsibilities of individuals within the cybersecurity workforce.
  2. Establishing clear and consistent criteria for cybersecurity job roles and associated certifications.
  3. Promoting continuous learning and professional development within the cybersecurity workforce.
  4. Ensuring the DoD's cybersecurity workforce possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to protect critical information and systems.
  5. Facilitating interoperability and collaboration between the DoD and other government agencies, industry partners, and academia.

Components of DoDD 8140

DoDD 8140 consists of several key components that collectively form a comprehensive cybersecurity workforce development framework. These components include:

1. Cybersecurity Workforce Categories

The directive defines four main categories of cybersecurity personnel within the DoD:

  • Cybersecurity Managers (CSSP-Manager): Responsible for overseeing and managing cybersecurity operations, policies, and resources.
  • Cybersecurity Service Providers (CSSP): Perform technical tasks such as Incident response, vulnerability assessment, and security operations.
  • Cybersecurity Support (CSSP-Support): Provide assistance and support to CSSP personnel, including system administration and helpdesk support.
  • Cybersecurity Developers (CSSP-Developer): Design, develop, and implement secure software and systems.

These categories ensure a structured approach to workforce development and enable individuals to specialize in specific areas of cybersecurity.

2. Cybersecurity Workforce Roles

Within each category, DoDD 8140 defines specific cybersecurity workforce roles. These roles outline the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for each position. Examples of roles include:

  • Information Systems Security Manager (ISSM): Responsible for managing the security of information systems and ensuring Compliance with regulations and policies.
  • Incident Responder: Handles and investigates cybersecurity incidents, performs analysis, and implements mitigation measures.
  • Network Administrator: Manages and maintains network infrastructure, including routers, switches, and Firewalls.
  • Software Developer: Designs and develops secure software applications and conducts code reviews.

These roles provide a clear understanding of the responsibilities and competencies required for different job positions within the DoD's cybersecurity workforce.

3. Certification and Training

DoDD 8140 emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity certifications as a measure of competency. The directive identifies specific certifications that align with each cybersecurity workforce role. For example, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is recommended for ISSMs, while the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification is suitable for incident responders.

Furthermore, the directive requires individuals to participate in continuous learning and professional development activities to maintain their certifications and stay up-to-date with evolving cybersecurity practices.

4. Workforce Management and Development

To ensure a well-managed and competent cybersecurity workforce, DoDD 8140 outlines the responsibilities of various stakeholders, including supervisors, hiring officials, and training providers. It establishes processes for workforce planning, recruitment, selection, and performance evaluation.

The directive also encourages collaboration with external organizations, such as industry partners and academia, to leverage their expertise and promote knowledge sharing within the cybersecurity community.

Relevance and Industry Impact

DoDD 8140 has significant relevance and impact beyond the DoD. While initially developed for the defense sector, the framework has been widely adopted by other government agencies, private organizations, and educational institutions.

By aligning with the NICE framework, DoDD 8140 ensures compatibility and interoperability with the broader cybersecurity community. This alignment facilitates the transferability of skills and certifications, enabling cybersecurity professionals to work across different sectors and organizations.

The framework also establishes a common language and standard for cybersecurity job roles and certifications. This consistency enhances the clarity and transparency of cybersecurity workforce requirements, making it easier for employers to identify qualified candidates and for professionals to navigate their career paths.

Moreover, DoDD 8140 promotes a culture of continuous learning and professional development within the cybersecurity workforce. This emphasis on lifelong learning aligns with the rapidly evolving nature of the cyber threat landscape, ensuring that professionals stay updated with the latest technologies, techniques, and best practices.


DoDD 8140 serves as a comprehensive framework for developing and managing the cybersecurity workforce within the U.S. Department of Defense. By defining job roles, certifications, and training requirements, the directive establishes a structured approach to workforce development. Its alignment with the NICE framework ensures compatibility with the broader cybersecurity community. As a result, DoDD 8140 has had a significant impact on the industry, promoting standardization, interoperability, and continuous learning within the cybersecurity workforce.

References: - DoD Directive 8140 - National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) - DoD 8570

Featured Job ๐Ÿ‘€
Information Technology Specialist I: Windows Engineer

@ Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) | Pasadena, California

Full Time Mid-level / Intermediate USD 137K - 180K
Featured Job ๐Ÿ‘€
Cyber Security Senior Consultant

@ Capco | Chicago, IL

Full Time Mid-level / Intermediate USD 110K - 145K
Featured Job ๐Ÿ‘€
Backend Engineer III - PSPM (Remote, CAN)

@ CrowdStrike | CAN AB Remote

Full Time Senior-level / Expert USD 105K - 180K
Featured Job ๐Ÿ‘€
Backend Engineer II - PSPM (Remote, CAN)

@ CrowdStrike | CAN AB Remote

Full Time Mid-level / Intermediate USD 85K - 150K
Featured Job ๐Ÿ‘€
Software Engineer, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure- CSPM (Remote)

@ CrowdStrike | USA CA Remote

Full Time Senior-level / Expert USD 115K - 180K
Featured Job ๐Ÿ‘€
Director, Cloud and Software Engineering

@ Government of Nova Scotia | HALIFAX, NS, CA, B3J 2Y1

Full Time Executive-level / Director USD 105K - 144K
DoDD 8140 jobs

Looking for InfoSec / Cybersecurity jobs related to DoDD 8140? Check out all the latest job openings on our DoDD 8140 job list page.

DoDD 8140 talents

Looking for InfoSec / Cybersecurity talent with experience in DoDD 8140? Check out all the latest talent profiles on our DoDD 8140 talent search page.