Top Cloud Security Certifications 2023

By Michael Warne 02-Feb-2023
Top Cloud Security Certifications 2023

Cloud has taken the world by storm. With more and more businesses adopting the cloud, cloud security has become their number one priority. According to MarketsandMarkets, the cloud global security market can reach USD 77.5 Billion by 2026. With this increase, the demand for cloud security professionals will also increase. 

As per Burning Glass, the demand for cloud security skills can grow by 115% between 2020 to 2025, making the cloud security field a lucrative career choice with significant potential for growth. If you are interested in beginning your journey in cloud security or advancing your career, you can go for certifications. Getting a cloud security certification helps you learn the necessary skills, keeps you updated with the latest trends in the industry, and validates your skills in front of potential employers.

We have discussed the top cloud security certifications to help you begin your career or advance it.

About Cloud Security Certifications

A cloud security certification is incredibly useful for people wanting to develop their skills in cloud security. While most cloud security professionals have a bachelor’s degree, it is also necessary to have certifications that validate their technical skills. Employers strongly prefer candidates with certifications, especially in this field. According to Burning Glass, 60% of all cybersecurity roles require candidates to have at least one certification.

Cloud security certifications can be vendor-neutral or vendor-specific. Vendor-neutral certifications are not related to a specific IT vendor, though they cover skills relevant to most technologies and tools. Vendor-specific certifications cover the skills of a specific technology. This blog covers both types of certifications.

Best Cloud Security Certifications

Now that you know about cloud security certifications and their importance, here are the top cloud security certifications you can do.

Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer

The Professional Cloud Security Engineer certification from Google validates your skills in designing, configuring, and implementing secure infrastructure on Google Cloud. A cloud security engineer knows the security requirements and best security practices.

This certification validates your knowledge of identity and access management, leveraging Google technologies for data protection, managing incident responses, and building network security defenses, among other things.

Skills covered

● Configuring access with a cloud solution environment

● Configuring network security

● Ensuring data protection

● Ensuring compliance

● Managing operations within a cloud solution environment

Exam details: The exam has 50-60 MCQs or multiple selections. The exam duration is 2 hours.

Cost: $200

Languages: It is available in English and Japanese languages.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites but two or three years of experience. The three-year experience is inclusive of at least one year of experience with designing and managing solutions with the Google Cloud Platform.

Recertification: The certification is valid for two years. You can recertify by giving the exam again before the expiry of the certification.

Job roles: Cloud security engineers, cloud architect.

Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

CCSP is a globally recognized and advanced-level certification. Provided by (ISC)², it validates your advanced technical skills in designing, managing, and securing data in the cloud. It also proves that you know the best practices and policies laid down by (ISC)².

CCSP is the top certification IT professionals want to get next in their career, per the Certification Magazine’s 2021 Annual Salary Survey. CCSP is thus a great choice for professionals who want to advance their careers and reach new heights. It is ideal for cloud architects, engineers, security analysts, specialists, professional developers, and consultants.

Skills covered

The certification tests you in six security domains. These domains are as follows:

● Cloud concepts, architecture, and design (17%)

● Cloud data security (19%)

● Cloud platform and infrastructure security (17%)

● Cloud application security (17%)

● Cloud security operations (17%)

● Legal, risk, and compliance (13%)

Exam details: The exam has 125 multiple-choice questions. The exam duration is 3 hours.

Cost: $599

Passing score: You need to get 700 out of 1,000 points to clear the exam.

Languages: The certification is available in English and Japanese languages.

Prerequisites include having at least five years of paid work IT experience. This experience should include three years of experience in information security and one in one or more of the six (ISC)² CCSP Common Body of Knowledge domains.

Maintenance fee: You need to pay $125 as a maintenance fee.

Job roles: Product security engineer, cyber integration engineer, senior security analyst, cybersecurity solutions architect, information security manager, compliance technology specialist, cloud security engineer, information security auditor, and application security architect.

AWS Certified Security

AWS Certified Security is ideal for you if you want to work with Amazon Web Services. It is a specialty-level certification that validates your skills in providing a secure environment with AWS security services and an understanding of specialized data classifications in AWS. 

People getting this certification are knowledgeable in the following areas:

● AWS data protection mechanisms

● AWS mechanisms to implement data encryption methods

● Security operations and risks

AWS is the most popular cloud platform, with a market share of 34%, as per Statista. Getting this certification is a sure-shot way to improve your job prospects and career.

Skills covered

The exam tests your knowledge in five domains:

● Incident response (12%)

● Logging and monitoring (20%)

● Infrastructure security (26%)

● Identity and access management (20%)

● Data protection (22%)

Exam details: The exam has 65 multiple-choice and multiple-response questions. The number of scored questions out of these 65 is 50. The rest are unscored. The exam duration is 170 minutes.

Cost: $300

Languages: The exam is available in English, French, German, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.

Prerequisites: This exam has no prerequisites. Amazon recommends candidates have at least five years of experience in IT security. You should also have at least two years of experience in securing AWS workloads.

Passing score: You need a minimum of 750 out of 1,000 to clear the exam.

Job roles: Cloud security engineers, security and compliance engineer, security architect

Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate

Microsoft Azure is right behind AWS in the cloud market. If you want to work with Azure, the Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate is ideal. It validates your skills in implementing Azure security controls.

Holding the certification means you can identify and remediate vulnerabilities, implement protection against threats, and respond to escalations in security incidents, among other things.

Skills covered

The AZ-500 exam includes the following skills:

● Managing identity and access

● Implementing platform protection

● Managing security operations

● Securing data and applications

Exam details: The exam has 40-60 multiple-choice and multiple-select questions. The exam duration is 150 minutes.

Cost: $165 (US), INR 4800 (India)

Languages: The exam is available in several languages, including English, French, and Spanish. You can check the full list on its official page.

Prerequisites: There are no official prerequisites.

Passing score: The passing score is 700 out of 1,000.

Job roles: Security engineer, cybersecurity engineer, security and integration architect

Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)

Kubernetes is the most popular platform for container-based applications. CKS is ideal if you are working with Kubernetes and want to validate your skills in ensuring secure container-based applications and the Kubernetes platform.

Skills covered

The exam will cover the following domains:

● Cluster setup (10%)

● Cluster hardening (15%)

● System hardening (15%)

● Minimize micro-service vulnerabilities (20%)

● Supply chain security (20%)

● Monitoring, logging, and run-time security (20%)

Exam details:  This performance-based exam will test your knowledge in a simulated real world. You will get 2 hours to complete the test.

Cost: $395 (includes one free retake)

Passing score: You need a minimum score of 67% to pass the exam.

Prerequisites: You must have passed the CKA exam.

Validity: The certification is valid for two years.

CompTIA Cloud+

CompTIA Cloud+ is a vendor-neutral certification that validates your ability to design and manage secure cloud environments. While it is more focused on general cloud certification, it also has extensive material on cloud security. It covers cloud architecture, disaster recovery, identity and access management, automation, and application security controls.

Skills covered

The skills covered by this exam include the following:

● Cloud architecture and design

● Operations and support

● Cloud security

● Cloud deployment

● Troubleshooting

Exam details: The exam has 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions. The exam duration is 90 minutes.

Cost: $358

Languages: The exam is available in English.

Prerequisites: There are no official prerequisites for the exam. CompTIA recommends you clear CompTIA Network+ and Server+. It also recommends having an experience of two to three years in systems administration or networking.

Passing score: The passing score is 750 on a 100-900.

Job roles: Senior systems administrator, cloud engineer, senior network engineer, cloud project manager, systems engineer, cloud specialist, senior network administrator, vulnerability tester

Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)

Offered by Cloud Security Alliance, CCSK is a popular vendor-neutral certificate. It validates your knowledge of application security, data encryption, SecaaS, and cloud incident response. It helps you increase your employment opportunities and show your technical knowledge. CCSK is also beneficial for people who want to earn CCAK.

Skills covered

The exam tests your knowledge in 14 domains.

● Cloud computing concepts and architecture

● Governance and enterprise risk management

● Legal issues, contracts, and electronic discovery

● Compliance and audit management

● Information governance

● Management plan and business continuity

● Infrastructure security

● Virtualization and containers

● Incident response

● Application Security 

● Data security and encryption 

● Identity, entitlement, and access management 

● Security as a Service

● Related technologies 

Exam details: The exam contains 60 multiple-choice questions. The exam duration is 90 minutes. 

Cost: $395 for two attempts over two years. 

Languages:

Prerequisites: CCSK requires no experience. 

Passing score: The minimum passing score is 80%. 

Job roles: Cybersecurity analysts, security engineers, security architects, security consultants, systems engineers, CISOs, enterprise architects, compliance managers, threat analysts, and security administrators.

GIAC Cloud Security Automation (GCSA)

GCSA is a lesser-known but equally valid certification if you want to enter the field of cloud security. It covers services and modern DevSecOps practices that enable you to develop secure systems. 

The certification covers areas including automating configuration management, use of open-source tools, and using cloud services with secure DevOps practices. 

Skills covered

● Cloud security fundamentals

● Compliance

● Data protection

● DevSecOps fundamentals and controls 

Exam details: The exam contains 75 questions. The duration is 2 hours. 

Cost: $1,899 (may vary)

Prerequisites: This certification has no prerequisites. 

Passing score: The passing score is 61%.

Job roles: Security consultant, security analyst, risk manager, application security analyst, security engineer, cloud security developer, DevSecOps engineer, software architects 

EXIN Certified Integrator Secure Cloud Services

This vendor-neutral certification is perfect for people switching careers to cloud security or beginning in the field. It covers all the key areas you should know to build a career in this field.

The certification covers knowledge in three domains. To get certified, you must clear at least one certificate. 

Skills covered

The three domains covered by this certification are as follows.

● Service management

● Cloud computing

● Security management

Choosing a Cloud Security Certification

If you have decided to be part of the cloud security world, getting one or more certifications is imperative. There are a lot of certifications available in the market, as you have seen above. Each has its specialization. While choosing a certification, it is crucial to ensure that your choice aligns with your professional goals.

Consider the following questions while choosing your credentials:

● Does this align with your professional goals?

● Is the cost worth the investment?

● Do you want to go for a vendor-neutral certification or a vendor-specific one?

● What is your area of focus?

Conclusion

The cloud security market will continue to grow in the coming years, along with the demand for cloud security professionals. Certifications are a sure-shot way of beginning and advancing your career. In this blog, we have listed the best cloud security certifications. Remember, these certifications can cost hundreds of dollars. Think of them as a long-term investment and keep moving towards your goal.

Michael Warne

Michael Warne is a tech blogger and IT Certification Trainer at Koenig Solutions. She has an experience of 5 years in the industry, and has worked for top-notch IT companies. She is an IT career consultant for students who pursue various types of IT certifications.

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