The adoption of cloud computing has increased over recent years. As more and more organisations migrate their infrastructures to cloud environments they become vulnerable to attacks.

The security controls for cloud-based infrastructures are not the same as those for traditional data centers. As a result, businesses must examine their security controls to make sure they are fit for purpose in 2024.

Cloud security certifications have become essential for IT professionals.  Here are some of the top cloud security qualifications for 2024 that will ensure cyber security professionals stay relevant, advance their careers, and stand out from the crowd.

Want to compare how things have moved on?  You might like to refer back to our post from last year; Top Cloud Security Certifications 2023.

Top 10 Cloud Security Qualifications – 2024.

AWS Certified Security – Specialty.

This certification demonstrates proficiency in developing and deploying security solutions within the AWS Cloud.  It shows an understanding of specialised data classifications and AWS protection methods, data encryption measures, securing internet protocols and how these are implemented by AWS.

Although there are no formal prerequisites, Amazon recommends that students have at least 5 years of experience in IT security and 2 years of commercial experience with AWS.

Before attempting to earn the specialty certificate, individuals typically hold the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional certification and/or the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification.

Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK).

Offered by the Cloud Security Alliance, the CCSK provides a vendor-neutral understanding of how to protect data in the cloud.  Among other topics, this certificate covers the best practices of cloud incident response, application security, identity and access management, data encryption, and securing emerging technologies.

GIAC Cloud Security Automation (GCSA).

This cloud qualification demonstrates an understanding of DevSecOps. It shows that the holder has the skills necessary to deploy security controls in DevOps automated pipelines. On top of this, it endorses the professional’s ability to manage the security, integrity, and reliability of cloud-hosted systems.

The GCSA isn’t associated with any specific cloud platform, although the program covers Microsoft Azure and AWS.

GIAC Cloud Security Essentials.

This certificate focuses on the best practices and concepts relating to cloud security. It verifies that individuals have the professional expertise to understand and implement secure cloud environments.

Once completed, candidates will have studied a variety of topics. These include data protection, cloud architecture, incident response in a cloud environment, legality, and compliance.

To take the course, the GIAC recommends that individuals have two or more years of experience in information security or a related field.

Professional Cloud Security Engineer (Google).

This qualification relates specifically to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). It validates that the holder has the required skills to create, configure, and deploy secure infrastructures on the GCP.

Included topics are

  • organisational structure and policies,
  • configuring identity and access management,
  • network security,
  • protecting data with Google Cloud technologies
  • enforcing regulatory controls.

Google recommends that students have at least one year’s experience creating and managing solutions using Google Cloud, and 3+ years of industry experience before taking the exam.

Azure Security Engineer Associate (Microsoft).

This certification relates to the user’s expertise in deploying protection and security controls on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.   It also validates skill and knowledge in managing identity and access and the protection of applications, data, and networks.

There are no prerequisites, but learners should have practical experience in administering Microsoft Azure and hybrid environments. They should also have a strong understanding of network, computing, and storage in Azure and Microsoft Entra.

To read more about all the Azure Certifications Microsoft has on offer, follow this link.

CCSP – Certified Cloud Security Professional.

The CCSP is an intermediate certification offered by ISC2.  It is aimed at those with some experience in security and information technology and who want to advance their careers in cloud-based cybersecurity.

Those who wish to work toward this certificate need at least five years of cumulative work experience in IT. Three of these years must be in information security and then one year in at least one of the six ISC2 CCSP knowledge domains for cloud security. These are.

  • cloud architecture and design.
  • cloud data security.
  • cloud platform and infrastructure security.
  • cloud application security.
  • cloud security operations.
  • legal, risk, and compliance.

CompTIA Cloud+

This certificate demonstrates that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to design, implement, and automate secure cloud environments.

The certification exam will test a student’s skills in cloud architecture and design, cloud security, cloud deployment, operations, and support, and troubleshooting security issues related to cloud implementations.

To take this exam, CompTIA recommends that professionals have 2-3 years in networking or systems administration and hold the CompTIA Server+ and Network+ certifications.

Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist.

This certificate is aimed at accomplished Kubernetes practitioners and was developed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and The Linux Foundation.  Holding this certificate demonstrates the knowledge and skill to secure Kubernetes platforms and container-based applications during build, implementation, and runtime.

To work toward this specialist certificate, professionals must also hold the Certified Kubernetes Administrator certification.

GIAC Public Cloud Security (GPCS).

The GPCS demonstrates an ability to secure the public cloud as well as multi-cloud environments.  Professionals with this certification might include security analysts, auditors, system administrators, engineers and researchers, and cloud and DevOps engineers.  It shows that the holder is familiar with the characteristics of all the major cloud providers; Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and AWS, and that they have the necessary skills to protect each of them.

In sum.

The use cases and benefits of cloud environments have boomed over recent years and will only continue to grow.

Whether you are a seasoned cloud professional or just starting out, gaining one or more cloud security certifications is an effective, evidence-based way to validate your skills.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking to hire, keeping an eye out for these qualifications on a CV will help you differentiate the good candidates from the great candidates.

Are you looking to build out your workforce with the top cloud security professionals in the UK?

We can help. Work with Ignite and reach out today.

About the author: As a founder of Ignite Digital Talent, I lead our brilliant team to ensure we deliver time and time again for our clients. I also stay closely networked with industry influencers to ensure we are well placed to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

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