According to the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Survey, cloud computing is the top technology companies are likely to adopt by 2025. Cloud migration projects are on the rise, so cybersecurity is quickly becoming cloud security.
If you’re interested in starting or advancing your career in the information security industry, earning cloud security certifications can help. Not only will you learn critical skills to help your cloud career, but you’ll be able to qualify those skills to recruiters and hiring managers.
Put yourself on the front foot by learning more about cloud security certifications and which one is right for you.
Cloud security qualifications.
Most employers look for industry certification to demonstrate specific technical skills. Cloud security is no exception. 60% of all cybersecurity positions request at least one certification on top of the bachelor’s degree that many employers require as a minimum.
There are a host of certifications out there, but some are more sought after than others. Companies are looking to hire candidates with the most renowned credentials. This makes them worth considering as part of your own cloud security career development.
Some cloud security certifications are technology-specific, while some are vendor-neutral. This list of the top Cloud security certifications 2023 covers both categories.
Top Cloud Security Certifications – 2023.
Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer.
This Google certification Google demonstrates an ability to design, configure, and implement secure infrastructures on the Google Cloud Platform.
- Configuring identity and access management
- Defining security policy
- Implementing network security
- Analysing logs and managing incident response
- Protecting data with Google Cloud technologies
This is a great certification if you have ambitions to be a
- Cloud security engineers
- Solutions engineer.
- Cloud architect
There are no requirements for taking this qualification. However, Google advise that learners have a minimum of three years of experience, including at least one year managing and designing with the Google Cloud Platform.
Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate.
Passing the exam for the Microsoft Azure platform demonstrates skills in scripting, automation, networking, virtualisation, and cloud architecture and capabilities.
This exam tests the following skills,
- 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
This is the certification to hold if you want a career in
- Cybersecurity engineer
- cloud DevOps engineer
- Azure security engineer
- security and integration architect
There are no requirements for this Microsoft Azure certification.
AWS Certified Security.
If the cloud security job you are after is at an organisation that uses Amazon Web Services (AWS), this AWS Certified Security accreditation could be a good option.
This accolade shows skills 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
If you have ambitions in one of the following job titles, then this AWS certificate is a great option.
- Security architect
- Cloud security engineer
- Information security analyst
- Security and compliance engineer
There are no official prerequisites for this certificate. However, Amazon does recommend learners should have at least two years of experience securing AWS workloads and five years of general IT security experience.
The CompTIA Cloud+ demonstrates an ability to plan, deploy, and automate secure cloud environments. It covers topics such as
- 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
Cloud security professionals who aspire to these jobs might consider earning this certificate.
- Cloud specialist,
- cloud architect,
- information security manager,
- vulnerability tester,
- cybersecurity cloud specialist
Although CompTIA sets no prerequisites for this certification, they do recommend two to three years in systems administration or networking, as well as the CompTIA Network+ and Server+ certifications.
Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP).
The CCSP certification demonstrates a more advanced proficiency in the technical skills of the cloud security industry. The exam tests skills in the following areas
- 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 for this level of cloud security accreditation include,
- Cyber integration engineer
- Information security auditor
- Incident response specialist
- Senior security analyst
- Cloud application security consultant
To become a CCSP, you must 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 CCSP Common Body of Knowledge domains.
Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)
This cloud security credential covers a range of key cloud security issues. These include.
- Cloud architecture
- Governance, risk management, legal issues
- Infrastructure security
- Data security and encryption
- Incident response
- Application security and security as a service
The CCSK would be a great option if you were after a job as a
- Threat analyst
- Cybersecurity architect
- Ethical hacker
- Security analyst
- IT security engineer
The CCSK has no experience requirements.
GIAC Cloud Security Automation (GCSA)
You might consider the GCSA if you are interested in building and deploying secure systems and applications. The GCSA isn’t affiliated with a particular platform, but the materials do cover open-source tools like AWS and Azure.
Some topics covered in the Cloud security certificate include,
- Cloud security fundamentals
- Cloud security monitoring
- Container and microservice security
- Data protection
- DevOps and DevSecOps fundamentals and controls
Job titles that may benefit from the GCSA are,
- Security consultant,
- Application security analyst,
- Security engineer,
- Cloud security developer,
- Dev SecOps engineer
Like the CCSK, the GCSA has no experience prerequisites.
How do I choose the right cloud security qualification for me?
With many to choose from, it may be difficult to pick the best cloud security qualification for your ambitions. Here are some things to think about when deciding which credential is the best fit.
Some courses and the resulting exams have a high price point. It’s important to do your research around each course and learning option. Think about the cost as an investment in your professional credentials that will come back when you can command a higher salary.
Vendor specific, or vendor neutral?
Consider if you want to specialise in a particular platform, or if you want to keep your options open.
Your experience level.
Some certifications require experience. Start with a novice qualification, then progress to more advanced certifications as you gain work experience.
Your area of focus.
Many certifications cover general cloud security practices, while some (like the GCSA) are more specialised.
Think about whether you’re interested in a particular discipline; cloud security architecture, engineering, incident response, development – or something else. There might be a certification that addresses that specialty.
Your dream employer.
Have a look at the job descriptions at the organisations you are aiming toward. Make a note of what certifications and platforms crop up and tailor your learning accordingly.
Are cloud security qualifications worth it?
Working toward a cloud security qualification requires time and money. Whether these investments are worth it, is dependent upon your career and your professional goals. The right certification can help give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs.
In some cases, holding a particular qualification can be make or break. Additionally, one US study, revealed that earning a cybersecurity certification can come with an average salary increase of $18,000.
Are you interested in pursuing a career in cloud computing? These articles may also be of interest to you.