Top 5 Security Focused Cloud Certifications

Top 5 Security Focused Cloud Certifications

Certifications can be a great way to enhance a career. They will not make you an expert but can give direction and confidence to practice more. Certifications can provide a great foundation for your professional knowledge base. Cloud technology is causing major change in the IT landscape. More organizations are adopting cloud services and integrating them into their IT infrastructure. Storing data, transferring and processing data in the cloud requires skills and knowledge. The Cyber Job Mentor recommends these 5 certs as a start to gaining the knowledge and skill necessary.

1.AWS Certified Security – Specialty SCS-C01

The AWS Certified Security – Specialty validates an understanding of security operations and risk as it pertains to AWS cloud. It also provides understanding about encryption and ways to implement in AWS. This certification is recommended for cyber job professionals that have chosen AWS as their cloud platform of choice. Also, with AWS you can create a free account for a limited time period to practice necessary skills. This is considered a specialty exam and there are no prerequisites. The exam cost $300.00. Amazon suggest at least 2 years of hands on experience securing AWS and implementing security controls, but it is not a requirement to study for and take the test. Learn more at the AWS certification web site

2. Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate Exam AZ-500

The Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate measure skill in managing identity, implementing platform protection, managing security operations, and securing data and applications. The exam cost is $165.00 and there are no prerequisites or other requirements. Microsoft has step-by-step guidance at located here You may also get more information about this certification at

3. CCSP – Certified Cloud Security Professional

The CCSP – Certified Cloud Security Professional is brought to you by experts at (ISC)². The same organization that provides the CISSP exam. The CCSP does have an experience requirement, but it is possible to take exam without require experience. There are also ways to substitute the required experience with other certifications or credentials. The cost for the exam is $599.00. This certification is highly recommended for IT professionals who already have earned a CISSP or SSCP certification.

4. Professional Cloud Security Engineer

The Professional Cloud Security Engineer is provided by Google. Google markets this exam as perfect for IT professionals regardless of platform used. This exam covers configuring access within a cloud solution environment, configuring network security, ensuring data protection, managing operations within a cloud solution environment, ensuring compliance. There are no prerequisites for this exam. This certification is recommended because Google provides hands-on practice and a Coursera course located here The exam cost $200.00. You can learn more about the exam here

5. CSSK – Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge

The Cloud Security Alliance or CSA provides the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge or CCSK. The CCSK exam is a vendor neutral exam.  The CSA recommends training courses to familiarize yourself with the exam material. This exam covers the topics discussed in the CSA Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing v4.0   The exam cost is $395.00. There are no prerequisites for the exam. It is a great exam to get a broad range of cloud security knowledge. You can learn more at

Use the certifications as a guide to study. As an IT professional your budget may not be able to stretch to pay for a certification at this time. That limitation does not mean you cannot study for a certification. Choose your direction. Set your goal. Make sure you work towards your goal each and every day. Build your knowledge.

Beginning Cloud Certs

Beginning Cloud Certs

Developing a career in technology can be a challenge. The Cyber Job Mentor understands this and attempts to mentor and guide future and present IT professionals. Cloud technology is transforming the IT environment at a rapid pace. There will be opportunities for IT professionals to fill roles that currently exist or will exist. I have provided a list of entry level or beginner level cloud certs to get you started. There are more certs, and these may not be a good fit for everyone. Look for the certifications and training that aligns best with your career goals and learning style. The certs chosen are good for folks without a technical background. These were also chosen for IT professionals whose experience is not currently focused on the cloud and its technology and services.

1.CompTIA Cloud +

The Cloud+ certification is a great place for beginners to start gaining cloud skills and knowledge. The CompTIA web site says that 2 to 3 years of experience is recommended, but considering that there are no prerequisites, it is deemed good for beginners. As of the date of this posting the exam costs $319.00 and is valid for three years. You can learn more at Comptia’s website.

2. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Amazon is a leader in cloud services. Being able to pass the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

should give you basic skills in understanding AWS architectural principles, basic security, and basic infrastructure. This exam does not require any previous experience and Amazon provides many of the resources needed to study for free and you can sign up for a free account to practice. Best part is that the exam is $100.00.  You can learn more here on the AWS certification website

3. Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ-900

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud service. It was launched February 1, 2010. The market share is growing day by day. The Azure exam is less technical than some others and is geared more towards non-technical professionals but it is still recommended as a beginner level cert.  This exam does not require any previous experience and Microsoft Azure provides many of the resources needed to study for free and you can sign up for a free account to practice. The exam cost is $99.00. You can learn more at

5 Great Sources to study for IT Certifications

5 Great Sources to study for IT Certifications

Studying for IT certifications can be a great way to start a career in IT. New IT certs can also be a way to enhance an existing career or change careers. They will not make you an expert but can give direction and confidence to practice more. Certifications can provide a great foundational knowledge base. There are many books and materials that can be used. There are many different styles of teaching and learning. It can be daunting sorting through all the options. Find the solution that aligns with your schedule, budget, and learning style. The Cyber Job Mentor has provided a list of sources that may help you study for your next IT certification.


James Messer provides some awesome content that is always relevant for CompTIA trifecta. He has videos that cover all the of the objectives for A+, Net+, and Sec+ exams. He offers all of these amazing videos for free and provides monthly study sessions. The videos are available on youtube at and on his website at He also sells notes for the videos which are a great value.

2. is incredible. This site offers labs, videos, practice, and more. It is wrapped in a very attractive package perfect for aspiring IT professionals. They have an ios and android app so you can learn on the go. Not all of the content available is free but it is worth the investment.

3. Lynda is a great subscription based service that has a deep learning library covering a myriad of topics. The IT related videos are high quality from experts in their respective subject matter disciplines. It is not free but highly recommended.

4. Pluralsight

Pluralsight has training for many IT certificates. There are hands on learning opportunities and practice test. This site is recommended  for both new comers to technology field,  seasoned professionals who need to brush up, and folks who are just curios and want to learn something new.

5. Udemy

Finally the last recommendation is Udemy. Udemy courses are varied and you should be able to find and instructor that meshes with your learning style. The courses typically are reasonably priced and can be viewed in their handy app.