DIACAP Activity #1 Initiate and Plan Certification & Accreditation

by Bruce Brown | 1 Comment

Initiating the Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification & Accreditation Process (DIACAP) starts with a lot of “setting up shop”. Registering with a DoD component, forming the IA Team and assigning IA controls (also known as IA requirements and security controls) can be a lot of work, but the more of these tasks you complete, the easier the rest of the process will be.

Register the System with DoD IA Component

Each branch of the military has an IA component. Each of the US Armed Services have a division under their respective chief information officer’s responsible for all computers, communications and networks in a given military branch. These communications divisions will house the Information Assurance component responsible for the DIACAP tasks.

Table 1. DoD IA Components

DoD Branch Branch Communication & Information Service Branch IA Component
US Air Force Air Force Communication Agency (AFCA)http://public.afca.af.mil/ AFCA/EVAssessment and Validatorshttp://public.afca.af.mil/library/
US Army *Army NETCOM 9th Signal Corps http://www.netcom.army.mil/ Army NETCOM Information Assurance Office
Department of the Navy DON CIODON Information Management and Information Technology (IM/IT)http://www.doncio.navy.mil DON SIAOhttp://www.doncio.navy.mil/Main.aspx

*more on Army NETCOM

More on Registering with your IA Component

Once you’ve made contact with your system’s IA Component you may be asked to identify the players in your DIACAP Team. The DIACAP Team roles will consist of a Designated Approval Authority (DAA), Program Manager (PM), Certifying Authority (CA), User Rep, Information Assurance Manager and others. You will also need to identify other important players such as the Lead Engineer.

More on DIACAP Team Roles.

Get an Enterprise Mission Assurance Support Service (eMASS) account

The Enterprise Mission Assurance Support Service (eMASS) is a generic name for specific automated databases that are used to manage the DIACAP. Each branch has a different automated database (Fig 1). The USAF has the EITDR, The Navy has the DITPR-DON, and the Army has the APMS. Each of these databases satisfies DoD IT portfolio management, certification and IT reporting directives addressed in DoD Directive 8115.01, signed October 10, 2005.

Fig 1, DoD IT Portfolio Management System

eMASS IT Portfolio Management System

More on the eMASS systems.

Assign IA Controls

Information Assurance Controls are also known as Information Assurance requirements and security controls. IA Controls are assigned according to a system’s Mission Assurance Category (MAC) and Confidentiality Levels (Fig 2.) defined in DoDI 8500.2. The DIACAP Knowledge Service has Excel spread sheets breaking down each of the IA Controls.

Fig. 2, Mission Assurance Category & Confidentiality Levels

Mission Assurance Category (MAC) Confidentiality Levels

Some of the IA Controls require system security engineering interpretation because no system is alike. Some IA Controls will not apply while other will apply only under certain circumstances and that is where knowledgeable system & system security engineer comes in.



DoDI 8500.2, Enclosure 4

Initiate DIACAP Implementation Plan

With the proper MAC/CL level applied, the system security specialist/engineer and/or technician should have a good idea what IA Controls apply to a given system. The next step is to begin the DIACAP Implementation Plan.

The DIACAP Knowledge Service has a thorough break down of each of the IA Controls and how to accomplish and validate them. Once complete, your system’s DIACAP Implementation Plan should identify each of the applicable IA Controls, whether the system is compliant or not and when it will be compliant with those particular IA Controls.

Initiation of the DIACAP Plan means you are consulting developers and or Program Managers on the IA Controls that will affect the system. Both new systems, and existing legacy systems will require some sort of documentation whether a simple spreadsheet, or Word document detailing who, what, when and where of each IA Control feature applied to the system. The DIACAP Knowledge Service has a sample DIACAP Implementation Plan spread sheet that thoroughly details all the above requirements. It can be downloaded and tailored easily to your specific systems needs.

Once registered, the eMASS (EITDR, DITPR-DON, and APFM) system will require that you upload your completed DIACAP Implementation Plan (which is a bit of a paradox because the EITDR can actually create a DIACAP package once certain data is uploaded, validated and approved. EITDR will also require that the IA Controls be addressed and validated individually and subsequently Reviewed, Validated and Approved by system stakeholders.

Deliverables for Activity #1:DIACAP System Identification Profile (SIP)

DIACAP Implementation Plan

USAF SISSU Stakeholder’s List (Air Force)


DoD Regulation 5200.1-R , “DoD Information Security Program,” January 1997

DoDD 8115.01, “Information Technology Portfolio Management”, dated October 10, 2005

DoDD 8500.01E, “Information Assurance (IA),” dated April 23, 2007

DoD 8510.1-M, “DoD Information Technology Security Certification and Accreditation Process (DITSCAP) Application Document”, dated July 31, 2000

DoDI 8551.1, “Ports, Protocols, and Services Management (PPSM) Release 6.9,” dated September, 2007

DoDD 8570.1, “Information Assurance Training, Certification, and Workforce Management,” dated August 15, 2004

DoDI 8570.1-M “Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program,” dated December 19, 2005

Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, “Information Technology Portfolio Management,” March 22, 2004

Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) (2002)

Information Assurance Support Environment (IASE)

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