Jul 25, 2022

Popular Cloud Security Certifications


1. Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer

Earning this certification from Google demonstrates your ability to design, configure, and implement secure infrastructures on the Google Cloud Platform. This includes:

  • Configuring identity and access management

  • Defining security policy

  • Implementing network security

  • Analyzing logs and managing incident response

  • Protecting data with Google Cloud technologies

Target job titles: Cloud security engineers, solutions engineer, cloud architect

Requirements: There are no prerequisites to take the exam. Google recommends that you have at least three years of experience, including at least one year managing and designing with the Google Cloud Platform.

Cost (US): $200

2. Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate

Passing the AZ-500 exam for this Microsoft Azure credential demonstrates your skills in scripting, automation, networking, virtualization, and cloud architecture and capabilities. Skills tested include:

  • Configuring and managing secure access in Azure Active Directory

  • Implementing platform protection

  • Managing security operations with Azure Monitor, Security Center, and Sentinel

  • Securing data and applications

Note: Exam AZ-500 will be updated on August 2, 2021. Be sure to download the latest version of the exam guide.

Target job titles: Cybersecurity engineer, cloud DevOps engineer, Azure security engineer, security and integration architect

Requirements: None

Cost (US): $165

3. AWS Certified Security

If you’re looking for a security job at a company using Amazon Web Services (AWS), the AWS Certified Security - Specialty could be a good option. By earning this credential, you can show employers your proficiency in:

  • Encrypting and classifying data in AWS

  • Implementing secure internet protocols

  • Providing a secure production environment with AWS security services

  • Understanding security operations and risk management

Target job titles: Security architect, cloud security engineer, information security analyst, security and compliance engineer

Requirements: There are no prerequisites to take the exam. AWS recommends that you have at least two years of experience securing AWS workloads and five years of general IT security experience.

Cost (US): $300

4. CompTIA Cloud+

The CompTIA Cloud+ validates your ability to plan, deploy, and automate secure cloud environments. The new version of the CV0-003 exam, which launched in June 2021, covers topics like:

  • High availability and disaster recovery

  • Automation and virtualization

  • Cloud architecture

  • Identity and access management

  • Securing networks in a cloud environment

  • OS and application security controls

Target job titles: Cloud specialist, cloud architect, information security manager, vulnerability tester, cybersecurity cloud specialist

Requirements: CompTIA sets no prerequisites for this certification. They do recommend that you have two to three years in systems administration or networking, as well as the CompTIA Network+ and Server+ certifications.

Cost (US): $358

5. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

As you advance your career in cloud security, the CCSP from security membership organization (ISC)² validates your more advanced technical skills in the industry. The exam tests skills across six different domains:

  • Cloud architecture and design

  • Cloud data security

  • Cloud platform and infrastructure security

  • Cloud application security

  • Legal, risk, and compliance

  • Cloud security operations

Target job titles: Cyber integration engineer, information security auditor, incident response specialist, senior security analyst, cloud application security consultant

Requirements: To become a CCSP, you have to pass an exam and have at least five years of paid work experience in IT. Three of those years must be in information security and one needs to be in one or more of six (ISC)² CCSP Common Body of Knowledge domains.

Cost (US): $599

6. Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)

This cloud security credential from the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) covers a range of key cloud security issues that can empower you to tailor security solutions in a cloud environment. Topics covered include:

  • Cloud architecture

  • Governance, risk management, legal issues

  • Infrastructure security

  • Data security and encryption

  • Incident response

  • Application security and security as a service

Target job titles: Threat analyst, cybersecurity architect, ethical hacker, security analyst, IT security engineer

Requirements: The CCSK has no experience requirements.

Cost (US): $395

7. GIAC Cloud Security Automation (GCSA)

If you’re interested in building and deploying secure systems and applications, you might consider the GCSA. While the GCSA isn’t affiliated with a particular cloud platform, the materials do cover open-source tools like AWS and Azure. Topics covered include:

  • Cloud security fundamentals

  • Cloud security monitoring

  • Compliance

  • Container and microservice security

  • Data protection

  • DevOps and DevSecOps fundamentals and controls

Target job titles: Security consultant, application security analyst, security engineer, cloud security developer, Dev SecOps engineer

Requirements: There are no prerequisites for the GCSA certification exam.

Cost (US): $949

Are cloud security certifications worth it?

Earning a cloud security certification often requires investing both time and money into preparing for and taking the exam. Whether that investment is worth it depends on your career goals. The right certification can help give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs. According to a survey by (ISC)², earning a cybersecurity certification can come with an average salary increase of $18,000 in the US [3].

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