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CCSP: Tackling the Cloud Security Certification Challenge

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By: jasminen

November 3, 2019

Companies are adopting the cloud — quickly. So quickly, in fact, that 60 percent of survey respondents1 say cloud-based business strategies are outpacing security processes and controls.For organizations, this creates a disconnect: Cloud services are now essential to embrace digital-first initiatives, but rapid adoption can lead to significantly increased security risk. For IT professionals, the increasing need for effective cloud cybersecurity offers an opportunity: With the right training and certifications, infosec staff becomes invaluable on the enterprise journey to embrace cloud services without compromising networks.

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One of the most well-known and respected cloud certifications is CCSP (certified cloud security professional). Here’s what you need to know about the role, requirements, and career opportunities associated with CCSP.

What is CCSP?

Introduced in 2015 to meet the rising demand for skilled cloud security professionals, CCSP certification demonstrates that IT professionals have both the foundational cyber knowledge and cloud computing expertise necessary to secure distributed environments across corporate networks effectively.Leveraging a set of cloud best practices, policies, and procedures designed by industry leaders, CCSP testing is designed to meet the emerging challenges of today’s digital environment and ensure infosec experts have the skills and knowledge necessary to handle tomorrow’s emerging threats.

In Demand: On-Demand Cloud Security

CCSP certification holders offer companies the critical counterweight to on-demand cloud resources: On-demand security. While CCSP experts are found across multiple industries and carry multiple job titles, typical responsibilities include:
  • Building cloud environments — There’s no better way to secure a cloud than building one from the ground up. CCSPs are often responsible for the secure creation and deployment of key cloud infrastructure.
  • Managing physical infrastructure — While public cloud services offer the benefit of distributed resource use, many organizations are now deploying private cloud infrastructure to create hybrid environments. CCSPs may be tasked with securing this on-site hardware against both digital and physical attacks.
  • Conducting risk assessments — What companies don’t know can hurt them. CCSPs have the skills necessary to assess potential risks across both physical and logical infrastructures and develop effective defenses.
  • Auditing and monitoring tools and resources — Cloud security isn’t fire-and-forget. Continuous auditing, monitoring, and evaluation of tools and resources is a critical CCSP responsibility to ensure IT vulnerabilities are discovered, analyzed, and mitigated before malicious actors exploit them.

CCSP Certification: Careers and Compensation

IT professionals with a CCSP certification have career options across multiple industries and IT departments. As noted by State Tech2, for example, both state and federal governments are now looking for CCSPs to help secure critical IT environments and prepare for future challenges. Across the private sector, meanwhile, CCSPs can choose from careers such as:
  • Security Administrator — Define and implement policies across organizations to ensure cloud services are used safely and securely.
  • Security Engineer — Build and deploy new cloud security architectures in which power empower organizational efficacy and help keep critical data safe.
  • Security Consultant — Work with enterprises, midsize, and small businesses to design cloud security policies and programs that meet current needs and help future-proof IT infrastructure.
As noted by certification developer ISC2, CCSPs enjoy an average salary of over $130,000, in part thanks to the vendor-neutral skillset evaluated by the certification exam. Also, CCSPs join a global network with more than 100,000 experienced members.

Easy is Overrated

The CCSP exam isn’t for everyone. To qualify for the exam, you must have a minimum of five years of paid experience working in IT with at least three years of work in information security. At least one year of this experience must be directly related to one of the six CCSP domains:
  • Architectural concepts and design requirements
  • Cloud data security
  • Cloud platform and infrastructure security
  • Cloud application security
  • Operations
  • Legal and compliance
The exam itself is four hours long and consists of 125 multiple-choice questions across the six CCSP domains and requires a score of at least 700/1000 to pass.

Challenge Accepted

The CCSP exam is widely regarded as one of the more challenging to complete, even with the requisite experience. In large part, this stems from the changeable nature of cloud security — as companies deploy a mix of private, public, and hybrid clouds, adopt mobile devices and leverage IoT technologies, cloud security best practices must evolve. As a result, the exam often focuses on more conceptual knowledge than rote memorization to ensure candidates can adapt and adjust on-demand.The result? It’s worth investing in CCSP-specific training to prepare for the certified cloud security professional exam. At Cybrary, we’re committed to offering the best free CCSP training online — our course covers everything from basic cloud concepts to data storage, virtualization, and physical security along with risk analysis, threat modeling, and cloud forensics — all at no cost. Access live expert training and online lab sessions with Cybrary membership to gain even more CCSP knowledge.

Your Career in the Clouds

CCSPs are in demand as companies look for on-demand solutions to reduce total risk as they migrate critical apps and services to the cloud. Up for the challenge? Earn your certification by combining hands-on experience with top-tier online training to jump-start your security career in the clouds.  References:1.
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