Introduction

Certifications are often one of the top ways that employers use to screen candidates for high-powered tech jobs. As time goes on and new technologies emerge, organizations that host certifications keep pace and roll out security certification options for these new technologies.

Cloud computing has proven to be no exception to this rule. This article will detail the top four cloud security certifications available in 2019.

1. Certified Cloud Security Professional

Hosted by a combined effort between (ISC)² and the Cloud Security Alliance, the Certified Cloud Security Professional certification (CCSP) is one of the most popular cloud security certifications today. Providing a real-world standard of security-focused IT certification, CCSP certifies that the cloud professional has a profound understanding coupled with hands-on experience with cloud security architecture, design, operations and cloud service orchestration.

Certified Cloud Security Professional Prerequisites

To qualify as a CCSP certification exam candidate, exam takers must have satisfied one of the following conditions:

  • Five years of experience working full-time in IT. Among this experience must be three years working directly with information security, coupled with one year focusing on cloud architectural design requirements and concepts, cloud data and application security, operations, infrastructure security, legal and compliance
  • Five years of full-time work experience in the IT field coupled with three years of experience focusing on information security, along with knowledge of the Cloud Security Alliance’s Certification of Cloud Security

Or:

  • You must have earned (ISC)²’s CISSP accreditation

Further Exam Details

  • 125 questions
  • You must achieve a score of 700 out of 1000 to pass
  • The question types are multiple choice
  • You will have four hours to take the certification exam
  • Check here for current exam pricing

2. Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge

Hosted by the Cloud Security Alliance and introduced in 2010, the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) is a widely accepted and valued certification within the IT field. This rare certificate provides employers with a validation of your competency in cloud security (earned by your hard work and experience) and the necessary globally accepted technical skills, knowledge and abilities to develop an effective and holistic cloud security program.

CCSK goes a few steps further by allowing certificate holders access to useful career resources, including networking ideas and tools. This certification will also help certification holders differentiate themselves from the crowd of other job applicants — the cloud field is becoming more populated, and the rarity of this certification may just be what makes you an organization’s sought-after “unicorn.”

CCSK Exam Prerequisites

While there are no prerequisites for taking the CCSK certification exam, the Cloud Security Alliance has some recommendations for certification candidates. The most important thing is for candidates to enroll in CCSK training in order to be prepared for the exam.

3. Professional Cloud Security Manager

Provided by the Cloud Credential Council, the Professional Cloud Security Manager (PCSM) is a globally recognized certification and is known as one of the standards of achievement for cloud-based security professionals. This certification validates the certification holder’s security skills, experience and knowledge of the cloud environment and demonstrates that you are capable of managing an organization’s cloud security.

Some of the skills that PCSM-certified professionals will be responsible to have mastered include:

  • Securing cloud services and deployment models from a vendor-neutral standpoint
  • Implementing and defining cloud security best practices to cloud infrastructures
  • Securing data, operating systems, applications and cloud infrastructure
  • Managing and controlling cloud resource access

Professional Cloud Security Manager Prerequisites

Technically, there are no prerequisites for earning the PCSM certification. However, certification candidates must be IT professionals working full time for five years and focusing on enterprise security. This experience must translate into a thorough knowledge of cloud services and deployment models.

It should be noted that the Cloud Credential Council has recommended that certification candidates take a training course prior to the certification exam.

Further Exam Details

  • The PCSM certification exam consists of 40 questions
  • Candidates are allotted 60 minutes to complete the exam
  • The exam questions are multiple-choice
  • For further details and pricing, click here

4. Certified Cloud Security Specialist (CCSS)

Hosted by the Global Science and Technology Forum (GSTF), certification candidates have to make it through a four-day classroom training program to earn this cloud security certification. Emphasizing real-world project work, CCSS focuses on cloud security risk knowledge and skills and vendor-neutral cloud security issue management and mitigation.

CCSS does not stop there. This certification leverages cloud security knowledge from a cloud architectural design perspective, along with governance and cloud security process details. Other material covered by this certification includes security as a service, security and risk management, infrastructure defense processes, perimeter defense cloud security administration and industrial case studies focusing on important cloud security issues and their respective handling procedures.

Certified Cloud Security Specialist Prerequisites

In order for a CCSS certification candidate to qualify, they must have earned one of the following certifications prior to taking the classroom training program:

  • GSTF Certified Cloud Computing Associate (CCCA)
  • GSTF Certified Cloud Computing Specialist (CCCS)

Or:

  • EXIN Cloud Technologies Advanced

Further Exam Details

  • Four days of classroom training, 32 hours total
  • For further registration, scheduling, and pricing details click here

Conclusion

Cloud computing, like many other areas of IT, has grown to the point where certifications have been proliferating in recent years. As in other areas in IT, security is crucial for cloud computing and certifications can help you verify your high-end skill set.

When choosing a certification, some IT professionals go for an all-of-the-above approach where they try to earn as many certifications as possible; others take a more directed approach where they focus on one or two of the most prolific certifications to bolster their career path.

No matter which approach you take, use the article above to help steer you toward your next security-focused cloud certification. You may find that it becomes the determining factor in winning the next IT job of your dreams.

Sources

  1. Top 5 Cloud Security Certifications in 2019 [Updated], Whizlabs
  2. Professional Cloud Security Manager, Global Knowledge
  3. Certified Cloud Security Specialist (CCSS), Global Science and Technology Forum