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Information Assurance Development Program

Both new NSA hires and longer-term employees can expand their skills with IA development programs - just one benefit of working in the IA field at NSA.

Information Assurance Analysis Development Program (IAADP)
The IAADP is a three-year intern program that combines a variety of rotational tours and selected training to develop highly qualified employees into career professionals for assignments related to the Information Assurance Analysis (IAA) Skill Community. The goal of the program is to develop well-rounded IAA Professionals and to promote the breadth of knowledge across the IAA disciplines, as well as depth in one or more of the core knowledge areas. Upon graduation, the individual will apply that knowledge against a wide variety of IAA challenges.

The IAA Skill Community consists of nine broad knowledge areas that are further subdivided into a number of supporting IA activities. These areas are:

  • IA Research
  • Standards and Specifications
  • Development and Applications
  • Information Systems Security Engineering and Integration
  • Systems Operations
  • Defensive Information Operations
  • Policy and Doctrine
  • Evaluation
  • Planning and Support for IA activities

IAADP participants work a minimum of six rotational tours and are required to complete numerous milestones such as a white paper, a briefing, an in-depth analysis paper, a significant number of required and elective IAA-related courses, and a rigorous oral exam. By the end of the program, graduates will better understand the IA mission and its challenges and be granted Distinguished Member status in the IAA Skill Community.

System and Network Interdisciplinary Program (SNIP)
The goal of the SNIP is to train and educate its interns in the various technical areas associated with Computer Network Operations (CNO). CNO encompasses the three related missions of Computer Network Defense (CND), Computer Network Exploitation (CNE), and Computer Network Attack (CNA). The SNIP is designed to accept select participants that appear to have the proper mix of the following characteristics:

  • Technical skills
  • Problem solving ability
  • Teaming skills
  • Good work ethic
  • Good interpersonal skills

This three-year development program consists of approximately two months of common core training, an individual technical development program with customized office tours, in-depth training to enhance the abilities and knowledge of the particular intern, and a three-month class project designed around an operational problem.

The SNIP seeks to balance depth of knowledge with breadth of diversity across these CNO disciplines, while also encouraging diversity across NSA missions and functions. The end goal is a graduate who has depth in at least one of the core disciplines, breadth in the others, and is a problem-solver in general.

IAD Development and Education Program (IDEP)
The IDEP is a two- to three-year rotational program designed to prepare the technical IA workforce to master the art of discovering technical vulnerabilities and to develop, evaluate, and secure information systems for U.S. government use. The IDEP develops the security skills of participants by providing on-the-job training opportunities across NSA to explore a variety of technologies, laboratory facilities, computer facilities, and tools.

IDEP participants are newly hired engineers, mathematicians, networking and telecommunication graduates, or computer scientists who have little or no previous experience in securing systems. During a minimum of three rotational assignments (target length 6-12 months each), the IDEP focuses on the development of each participant's skills within the framework of the NSA and IA mission, through a variety of core and elective technical coursework and on-the-job training.

Each IDEP participant will obtain or demonstrate an introductory knowledge in each of the IA core topic areas by completing at least one training opportunity in each category. The completion of at least three additional training opportunities will demonstrate advance knowledge and skills in topics relevant to the IDEP participant's NSA career path. IDEP mathematicians have their own set of core training requirements. The IDEP core topic areas are:

  • Networks/Network Security
  • Computer Security
  • Cryptography
  • Key Management
  • Information Assurance
  • Network Protocols
  • Communication Skills
  • Leadership Skills

Each IDEP participant works with a mentor who provides guidance in selecting technical training and rotational assignment opportunities. IDEP graduates can select a permanent assignment anywhere in NSA in accordance with hiring procedures.

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Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Reviewed: Jan 15, 2009